William Robert Heid (1917-1986)

Three familiar passages of Scripture, if taken for what they say and mean, will not only explain one of the greatest problems of the present day, but give us God’s wise answer. They are: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”; “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when his is old, he will not depart from it”; and “finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true…think on these things.”

            We need make no argument that evil and sin are still on the increase the world over, and chiefly in our own land.  The Holy Spirit long informed us that evil men and imposters shall wax worse and worse, and Jesus raised the question, “When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We can know, then, that lawlessness is going to be a problem to the end of this age. But it surely will be tragic if sin invades the ranks of the church, and so in this respect we should wield our sword and put on our armor, assured that God has appointed us unto victory.

            The thoughts and imagination of men’s hearts may become only evil, continually. So, it was better before the flood, and will be yet again at the coming of the Son of Man. However, they need not be so. The matter rests upon the will of man. Today’s visual entrainment (?), that is freely sown over the channels of our nation, falls into various classes.  There is the purely informational, which acquaints us with the facts that we could not otherwise know—sights and customs, the word ‘round. Such I think, could be educational to us all.

            A second class is the comedy, which though ever popular, is not edifying to the soul. True, there is a bit of helpful release, and diversion, and to an extent, there is recreation for the body and mind.

            A third (that we not become tedious) class would include all of the mystery and violence that is so vividly depicted to the mind’s eye. Little is left to the imagination, although the consequences are not dwelt upon, if mentioned at all. Taken on the basis of time allotted, the evil always has preponderance, if not total monopoly.

            We, as Christians, have the responsibility to choose the better things, and we have instruction in God’s word, to enable us to make the choice wisely. The real problem is to see the importance of it all. I recently talked to a man who threw down a cigarette and quit smoking, because he felt a pain in his heart. Three years now, there has been no real temptation, because he considers the consequences. In like manner, we would abstain from a particular food, if we knew that it was harmful to our physical well-being. Of how much more value is the soul, yea, even the mind of man?

            “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This verse, Philippians 4:8, can be of eternal blessing to us and to the children God has entrusted to us.

-Robert Heid, in “Missionary Messenger,” January 1958

-Robert Heid, (1917-1986) was Editor of Word & Work, 1976-1986