“Above all the things that you guard, safeguard your heart.”—PROV. 4:23.
it’s going down–heed the warning!
no idiot? to subliminal strategies, eh?!
the term “heart” is used to refer to “the inner person” or “secret self.” (Read Psalm 51:6 and footnote.) In other words, “heart” refers to our private thoughts, feelings, motives, and desires. It is who we really are on the inside, not just who we appear to be on the outside.
5 Consider how our physical health illustrates the importance of who we are on the inside. First, to keep ourselves in good condition on the inside, we must choose a healthy diet, and we need to exercise regularly. Likewise, to keep ourselves in good spiritual condition, we must choose a healthy diet of spiritual food and regularly exercise our faith in Jehovah. That form of exercise involves applying what we learn and speaking about our faith. (Rom. 10:8-10; Jas. 2:26) Second, based on outward appearance, we might think that we are healthy even though we are actually diseased on the inside. In a similar way, based on our theocratic routine, we may think that our faith is strong, but wrong desires could be growing in us. (1 Cor. 10:12; Jas. 1:14, 15) We must remember that Satan would like to infect us with his thinking. How, specifically, might he try to do that? And how can we protect ourselves?
HOW SATAN TRIES TO INFECT OUR HEART
6. What is Satan’s goal, and how does he try to achieve it?
6 Satan wants us to become like him—a rebel who ignores Jehovah’s standards and is motivated by selfishness. Satan cannot force us to reason and act as he does. So he tries to achieve his goal in other ways. For example, he surrounds us with people who are already corrupted by him. (1 John 5:19) He hopes that we will choose to spend time with them, even though we know that bad associations will “spoil” or “corrupt” the way we think and act. (1 Cor. 15:33; ftn.) That tactic worked with King Solomon. He married many pagan women, and they eventually “had a powerful influence over him” and “gradually inclined his heart” away from Jehovah.—1 Ki. 11:3; ftn.
storytelling…for centuries…personally, i am selective about what i feed my body…should that be the same with the way i feed my brain?
7 Satan uses movies and television shows to spread his way of thinking. He understands that storytelling does much more than entertain us; it teaches us how to think, feel, and act. Jesus made good use of this method of teaching. Take, for example, his parables of the neighborly Samaritan and of the son who left home and wasted his inheritance. (Matt. 13:34; Luke 10:29-37; 15:11-32) However, those who are infected with Satan’s thinking can use storytelling to corrupt us. We need to be balanced. Movies and TV shows can entertain and educate us without contaminating our thinking. But we must be cautious. When choosing entertainment, we do well to ask ourselves, ‘Is this movie or TV show teaching me that it is all right to give in to my fleshly desires?’ (Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 2:1-3) What should you do if you detect that a program is promoting satanic thinking? Avoid it as you would a contagious disease!
spiritually-minded Ones care about/consider such things…things Other than the flesh/the material…aka satisfying selfishness. There is much more to life than money.
9 Satan also tries to infect our heart by getting us to trust human wisdom rather than Jehovah’s thinking. (Col. 2:8) Consider just one idea promoted by Satan—that getting rich should be a primary goal in life. Those who think this way might become wealthy, or they might not. Either way, they are in danger. Why? Because they may become so focused on making money that they will sacrifice their health, their family relationships, and even their friendship with God just to reach their goal. (1 Tim. 6:10) We can be grateful that our wise heavenly Father helps us to have a balanced view of money.—Eccl. 7:12; Luke 12:15.
To safeguard our heart, we must not only close it to wrong influences but also open it to positive influences. Think again about the illustration of a walled city. A gatekeeper closed the gates of the city to stop an enemy invasion, but at other times he opened the gates to allow food and other supplies to be brought in. If the gates were never open, the inhabitants of the city would starve. Similarly, we need to open our heart regularly to the influence of God’s thinking.
15 The Bible contains Jehovah’s thinking, so each time we read it, we allow Jehovah’s thoughts to affect the way we think, feel, and act. How can we get the most from our Bible reading? Prayer is vital. One Christian sister says: “Before I read the Bible, I pray to Jehovah, asking that he help me ‘see clearly the wonderful things’ in his Word.” (Ps. 119:18) We also need to meditate on what we read. When we pray, read, and meditate, God’s Word reaches “deep within [our] heart,” and we come to love Jehovah’s thinking.—Read Proverbs 4:20-22; Ps. 119:97. [excerpted reading article: How to Safeguard Your Heart w January 2019]