Proverbs 4:23 tells us: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (ESV)
This is a well-known dictum.
Orientals regard the heart as being central to a person, not only because of its position relative to our physical self, but also because it is the most important organ in our body. Chinese people consider our ability to reflect and ponder as a function of the heart.
Hence, in the Chinese language, characters with the word “heart” as their radical, or those related to the heart, are invariably about reflecting and pondering: longing for, thinking, idea, will, purpose, aspiration, memory, character, inspiration, and spirituality etc. Although these are in fact the results of the brain’s processing of received data – categorising, analysing, filtering, selecting and storing – we regard them as works of the heart.
Thanks to advances in info-communication technology, much information which used to require systematic processing by human brains has now been taken over by computers. We get instant results by simply moving our fingers across an interface. At the same time, we are using our hearts and brains less, spending less time in deep reflection, careful thought, and in-depth analyses. For above all else, what we desire today is speed and efficiency.
In addition, info-communication technology provides a wealth and variety of multi-media data, and we are spoilt for choice. The influences of such technological revolutions are both positive and negative.
Today, we are constantly faced with the need to select from all the information and materials available. If we are not careful and deliberate, our decisions on what to download or which online social media group to join will be led by our senses, interests, preferences and even considerations of efficiency. This is the grey area of moral vs. immoral, a danger zone that many are confronted with today.
The Bible teaches us: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” It is my prayer that we will listen with all our hearts to God’s Word, to reflect in our hearts, and respond from our hearts so that we will continue to live in the freedom of His truth.
Let us love the Lord, obey His Word, and remain faithful to Him our whole life through.
Background Picture by Liang Zhang/Bigstock.com
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung –
was re-elected President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in 2012 for the quadrennium. He has been a Methodist pastor for more than 30 years and has been a guest lecturer at Trinity Theological College since 1996.