Protecting The Heart
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate protects the chest cavity. The major organ that it protects is the heart. When the scriptures speaks of the heart it is most often speaking of the human spirit, not the organ that pumps blood. "That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts; that being rooted and founded in charity..." Ephesians 3:17 The Scriptures use the words heart and spirit interchangeably. "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23. A heart wounded is a mortal wound not just a maiming wound. "A man's spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?" Proverbs 18:14. A wounded spirit makes every issue of life unbearable. If the devil can't get your morals he will come after your spirit. Many of his attacks are to produce a wrong spirit. A spirit of bitterness, a spirit of rebellion, a spirit of discouragement, a spirit of fear, an angry spirit, a spirit of depression, and hopelessness etc. For this reason we are exhorted to cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of spirit. "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God." II Corinthians 7:1. My protection from such attacks is the breastplate of righteousness.
People often violate the Word of God, the leadership of the indwelling Spirit, and their own conscience in a response to someone who has first sinned against them. Sins of the spirit or of attitude are often instigated by the wrongdoing of others. It is not wrong for me to be angered at injustice, but I cannot allow my anger to linger and become sin. "Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Ephesians 4:6.
The key to guarding my spirit ( putting on the breastplate of righteousness) is when others have sinned against me, rather than sinning back, I do right.