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A Punch to the Nose

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  Proverbs 4:23 NIV

a punch to the noseI wasn’t expecting a punch to the nose.

My husband and I own and operate a small martial arts studio. We enjoy working with every student, especially our sons. Each one has trained with us at some point. 

One evening, I paired up with ten-year-old Andrew for a round of sparring. Students circled as Andy and I danced back and forth, egging each other on. Laughter filled the air.

Being a bit more experienced, I figured I’d take it easy on my son. So, while sparring, I offered encouragement as well as instruction. I reminded him about using his hands and feet and, most importantly, keeping his guard up.

Deciding a little more pressure might challenge him, I moved in with a flurry of front kicks. Andy blocked them, but then it happened—a well-placed punch right to my nose. The crowd gasped collectively as Andy’s hand flew over his mouth. “I’m so sorry, Mom, but you dropped your guard.”

Playing around and being over-confident, I had dropped my hands and walked right into the punch. My sore nose recovered in short order. My pride, not so much. What I thought would be a learning experience for my son turned out to be a much greater learning experience for me.

Physically, I gleaned a critical lesson, but God desired I grasp a more valuable spiritual one.  

I pondered the many times in life when I had dropped my guard. Too often, I allowed pride to deceive me into thinking I could handle certain situations or play around the edge of some sin while maintaining proper boundaries.

An unguarded heart has no protection. It leaves room for the Enemy to deliver a sucker punch more devastating than a sore nose. How we watch over our hearts affects all areas of our lives.

Is there an unguarded area of your heart? If so, confess it and ask God to give you the wisdom to protect your heart. Then, get back in the ring with your guard up. 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor resides in rural South Carolina. She is a retired teacher and author of the children’s book EE Otter and the Bullfrog Bullies. She counts her husband and sons as constant reminders of God’s amazing grace.