Home Christian Lifestyle FIRST-PERSON: The battle for your heart by David Jeremiah

FIRST-PERSON: The battle for your heart by David Jeremiah

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EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) — Gary Haran was so committed to playing a video game called World of Warcraft (WOW) that he decided he had to quit in order to reclaim his life. So he started a website devoted to World of Warcraft addicts who needed a place to talk about their compulsive game playing. When his website went live, the first day there were about 20 posts. By the time he sold the website there were 20,000 daily posts from players who wanted to talk about their obsessive dedication to the video game. (1)

Video game addiction can have deadly consequences:

— In 2009, a three-month-old South Korean child died from malnutrition when her parents spent their free time in an internet café raising a virtual child in an online game.

— An American father’s 10-month-old twin sons drowned in a bathtub while he went into another room to continue playing a video game.

Let me be clear: This is not an article about the dangers of any video game. It is an article about passion — what we choose to commit ourselves to.

That truth cuts two ways. If we commit our hearts to something negative, the outcome can be hurtful, even deadly. But if we allow the passion of the heart to be directed toward God, then the outcome can be life-giving and life-saving.

Power of passion

Solomon summarized the power of the human heart in two lines: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Let me cite a couple truths:

— The what

The Hebrew verb for keep is an imperative form — it is a command. Commands in Scripture are not optional.

Diligence translates a Hebrew word that describes a guard in a jail. It suggests that a guard does whatever is necessary to keep his prisoners from escaping. Reverse the image with regard to the heart: Instead of keeping something from escaping, do whatever is necessary to keep anything harmful from coming in.

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