The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
When we talk about idol worship, you might think, “I am not into idol worship. This does not apply to me.” Do not be so sure. The fact is, our freedoms in Christ can quickly become idols that Satan uses to lure us away from God. The Corinthians were using their freedom to move as close to the edge of sin as possible, and they were falling into sin.
What are some freedoms we have that if we are not careful can easily become idols?
One freedom we have is in the area of entertainment: going to the movies, watching television, and so on. There is nothing in the Bible that says going to the movies or watching television is a sin. In many ways, these forms of entertainment are kind of like those lifeless idols in Corinth–they do not have any power in and of themselves. But if we are not careful, the freedom to entertain ourselves can suddenly become something that Satan uses to lead us away from God.
On March 30, 1981, a man named John Hinckley Jr. tried to kill President Ronald Reagan. What motivated him to do that? He became obsessed with the movie “Taxi Driver” starring Jodie Foster, and he thought, “This is something I could use to get her attention.” Now, there are people who say, “That is different. What I watch has no effect on me whatsoever.” But if that is true, why do you think advertisers spend billions of dollars on television and radio commercials?
Neuroscientists have proven that certain stimuli not only affect us psychologically; they actually change the physiology of our brains. This is called neuroplasticity, the ability of our brains to change in response to stimuli. Dr. Norman Doidge is a leader in the field of neuroplasticity, and he has done research on the effects of pornography on the brain. He found that over time, watching pornography made it more difficult for men to experience sexual attraction to their partners. He also observed a phenomenon that is usually associated with narcotics: the stimulation produced by pornography would lessen over time, so in order to get the same effect, men needed to continually pursue new material. Their brains were not merely receiving stimuli; they were being rewired. What we watch can have an impact on how we think and what we do. And if we are not careful, Satan can use our entertainment to lure us away from God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Ties That Bind” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Rick Sallinger, “Free after Four Decades of Confinement, John Hinckley Jr. Recalls His Life in Colorado before Reagan Assassination Attempt,” CBS News, September 13, 2022, https://www.cbsnews.com/colorado/news/john-hinckley-jr-mental-illness-freedom-assassination-attempt-ronald-reagan-colorado/; Norman Doidge, “The Brain That Changes Itself” (New York: Penguin, 2007), chapter 4.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.