Lessons on Guarding from a Goose

Recently my family and I observed a goose sitting nearby a pond.  Our kids were curious and one of them got rather close to the goose and yet the goose did not move.  After we went on, I thought to myself, “Why did the goose not just get up and move when someone got so close to her?”  It was my assumption that perhaps the goose was sitting on some eggs and about a week later we went by the same pond and saw the goose sitting in the same place.  As I was away, my mom and child were walking about and saw the goose’s eggs while the goose was swimming in the pond.  The goose came back upset that someone was looking at her eggs and stood over them guarding them.  As I contemplated the actions of this goose, I thought about how there are things I need to guard just like this goose was guarding its eggs.

One thing the Bible teaches us to guard is our mouth and tongue.  Proverbs 13:3 says, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (NKJV).  Again Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (NKJV).  As the goose was constantly aware of what was going on with her eggs and was ever vigilant, we need to be constantly aware and vigilant about how we use our mouth.  Our tongue needs to constantly be guarded because it can easily get us into trouble (James 3:1-12).

Another thing the Bible teaches us to guard is our heart.  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (NKJV).  Our heart is something precious which needs to be guarded.  Our heart is what impacts the things we say and do (Matthew 12:33-37; Mark 7:20-23).  Our heart must be kept free from all filthiness (2 Corinthians 7:1; Matthew 5:8).  Guarding our heart would mean we are careful about the sort of things we allow to come into our heart.  We will only allow into our heart things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).  We are constantly allowing things into our heart by the things we hear and see.  We are allowing certain ideas to take root in our heart and we need to make sure those ideas are in accordance with God’s word (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  Guarding our heart requires us to test everything which comes our way and see whether it meets up to the standard of God’s word (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).  We need to recognize those things which are potential threats to the purity of our heart and we keep them away.

A final thing we want to examine which the Bible teaches us to guard is to, “Guard what was committed to your trust” (1 Timothy 6:20-21, NKJV).  Timothy had been entrusted with the gospel message as he was taught it by individuals like Paul (2 Timothy 1:13-14).  Timothy was to entrust that same message to other faithful men who could teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).  If we have been taught the truth of God’s word, something important has been entrusted to us.  We need to guard the truth because there are false teachings which are seeking to destroy the truth.  We need to guard the truth because the truth enables us to be set free from sin (John 8:32).  Let’s make sure others have the opportunity to hear the unadulterated gospel as we have because we pass it on to others in its pureness!

When we are guarding something which is truly valuable to us, we will possess and courage which otherwise might be missing.  Normally, if you approach a goose in the wild verily closely, they will want to run off.  They might be afraid of what you might do to them.  Yet this mother goose was more concerned about what would happened to her eggs than harm which might possibly come upon her.  Maybe we need to have the same attitude toward the things God has taught us to guard.  We need to be courageous and unafraid of what might happen to us for standing up for truth because we are guarding something more important than our physical lives.  2 Timothy 1:7-8 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (NKJV).