Six Cautions to Keeping a Tender Heart

1. Take heed that you choke not those convictions that at present do break your hearts, by laboring to put those things out of your minds which were the cause of such convictions; but rather nourish and cherish those things in a deep and sober remembrance of them.

2. Shun vain company. The keeping of vain company has stifled many a conviction, killed many a desire, and made many a soul fall into hell, that once was looking hot to heaven. A companion that is not profitable to the soul is hurtful.

3. Take heed of idle talk, that thou neither hear nor join with it.

4. Beware of the least motion to sin, that it be not countenanced, lest the countenancing of that makes way for a bigger. . . remember that he who will rend the block, puts the thin end of the wedge first thereto, and so, by driving, does his work.

5. Take heed of evil examples among the godly; learn to do of no man that which the word of God forbids. Sometimes Satan makes use of a good man’s bad ways, to spoil and harden them that come after.

6. Take heed of unbelief, or atheistical thoughts; make no question of the truth of the reality of heavenly things: for know unbelief is the worst of evils; nor can the heart be tender that nourisheth or gives place unto it.

(From “The Acceptable Sacrifice, or The Excellency of a Broken Heart.” Works of John Bunyan I, 713)


About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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