By Kristiana Burke
This is the title of a familiar hymn and the question asked is one that requires thought. How shall the young secure their hearts and guard their lives from sin? This question is answered simply: “Thy word is everlasting truth, how pure is every page! That holy book shall guide our youth and well support our age.” How true! The answer for Christians today is the only answer, the Bible.
We as Christians must be grounded firmly in our beliefs. We must always search the Bible to make sure we are doing what is “right and acceptable in the sight of the Lord.” Paul states this fact clearly in Ephesian 4:14 where he says, “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why new Christians, and often young people fall away from the faith – they aren’t grounded firm in the word of God. They don’t really have “an anchor of the soul” which is both “steadfast and sure” (Heb. 6:19). They drift unevenly upon the billows of sin. By reading and teaching the Bible, one may know how to keep his conscience clean. They will know how to stand up and defend the faith.
Another way to guard ourselves is to have a pure soul. We must have a soul that is filled with spiritual things and is undefiled with the cares of this world. One way to fulfill this is to stay away from evil companions. I’m sure you have heard, “Evil companions corrupt good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). Peer pressure can ruin a person, but when one has good companions, peer pressure can be good. Our soul and mind are to be clean and not defiled by things that are not acceptable in God’s eyes. Christians must stay away from filthy movies, bad language, and suggestive music along with many other things. Not just people are “evil company” television is bad company at times, magazines can be, as well as music and books. Philippians 4:8 instructs us to meditate on things that are “true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and full of virtue or praise.” Also, 1 Timothy 6:11 instructs us to “flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” How can Christians and young people secure their hearts and guard themselves from sin when they are continually around evil company? It’s impossible!
Once again, the Bible must be stressed. God has left his will for us to follow. Children need to be taught continually, day in and day out, at home. Some favorite verses of mine in Deuteronomy 6:5-9 illustrate this point. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart, you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your home and on your gates.” Whew, what a responsibility! Many times we fail in this responsibility. Children depend on their parents. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” How can this responsibility be fulfilled when parents spend no time with their children? How can it be fulfilled when mothers work full-time jobs, when their place is in the home? How can our young people grow strong without proper teaching? They can’t! How can we have time to study about God when everyone is glued to the TV set 3-9 hours a day? It’s impossible! God’s word is important. New Christians, children, and young people must be taught the Word. They must have a steadfast anchor. God’s word should be to us as “The sun, a heavenly light, that guides us all the day and through the dangers of the night, a lamp to lead our way.”
How shall the young secure their hearts? They can secure their hearts by being grounded firmly in the faith, by having a pure soul, and good company. While our hearts are secure, we will have the knowledge of our reward before us. We must be as soldiers and must “Take up the whole armor of God . . . having girded our waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . . having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace . . . taking our shield of faith with us to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, to have our helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:13-17). After fighting to the end, we’ll be accepted at the right hand of God as one of his sheep. Let us secure our hearts.
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 4, p. 107
February 20, 1992