In this edition of StrateGEMS, Rich talks about why it's so important to guard our hearts in this age of information overload.
Last time we looked at what it means to believe in one’s heart and how heart belief literally charts the course of our life because of the influence it has on our daily decisions.
Today’s experts say that in this information age the average person is exposed to over 100,000 messages in the course of a day. In other words, we have a literal flood of information rushing at us from television, radio, billboards, conversations, music, movies, the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and – well you get the idea. We are literally drowning in a sea of information, and this information is impacting our lives more than many of us may be aware of.
You see, our minds are like computers. I’m a old computer programmer from way back and back in the olden days we had an acronym that applies to my analogy today – GIGO, which stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. In other words, whatever we put into our hard drives is what is going to come back out.
Prov. 4:23 in the Message Bible says, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.”
Another translation says the heart is the wellspring of life. In other words, everything we do in life begins right here – in our heart. The admonition is clear – because everything we do originates and issues forth out of the spring of our heart, we need to protect and diligently guard it from being polluted.
As we look at the flood of information that is coming at us each day, how much of this information is positive and life giving? How much of it is vile, base and disgusting? How much of it comes wrapped in emotion, which has a greater likelihood of making it past our minds and lodging down in our hearts? What effect has a steady diet of murder, mayhem and extramarital sex dished out by the entertainment industry had on society at large?
I wonder how many people today have any kind of filter in place that is capable of preventing these destructive messages from polluting their hearts. I think the average person is pretty much at the mercy of the flood and thus has been victimized by the deception that has bombarded their lives. As a result, there is a great deal of unnecessary pain and brokenness in many lives that could be prevented with the installation of a new filter system for their thoughts.
Of course, it would also be helpful to exercise a bit of discernment and not subject ourselves to so much of garbage in the first place. Some people spend all day drinking from the toilet and wonder why they have a bellyache at night.
I think it’s pretty obvious that there is an intentional effort underway to manipulate the minds and hearts of people to turn away from a wholesome lifestyle that is rooted in a belief in God, and instead promote a destructive lifestyle that cares only for the pleasure of the moment without regard to any future consequences. As a nation, we’re becoming an increasingly short-sighted and selfish people.
Is it possible to break this cycle of destruction? Yes, it is. But it won’t happen until we begin to take personal responsibility for what goes in our hearts and take action to identify clean up our wellspring of life. We’ll continue this thought next time right here on StrateGEMS.