In that section the Apostle Paul writes, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
Once again I was reminded of the GIGO phrase - Garbage in, garbage out.
Or as Jesus taught in Matthew chapter 15 that it is from the heart that our mouth speaks. In other words, what you are carrying around on the inside is what will come out of your mouth.
Garbage in. Garbage out.
I have made it my goal to think good thoughts. I came across a quote from author Tim Sanders that I thought was very good. Tim writes:
"You should be as careful about what you put into your mind as about what you put into your mouth. Your mind is a machine. When you ingest a piece of information, your mind goes to work chewing on it, digesting it, and then converting it into a thought. When good stuff goes into your mind, good thoughts emerge. People who maintain purposeful mind diets of positive stimuli think healthy thoughts."That is why I make an effort to read books that will teach and help me grow in a positive way. That is why I will pass on watching TV shows or movies that are filled with negative images. I choose to listen to Christian music because I'm amazed at how much more positive I am when I do.
This does not mean that I listen ONLY to Christian music. This does not mean that I NEVER watch TV or movies. Rather, it means I want the primary messages I listen to and think about to come from God’s Word. I want God’s perspective to be my default mode.
I’m not saying that we should bury our heads in the sand and avoid culture. That would not be consistent with what Jesus taught. But I am saying that our mind needs to be renewed by God so that when we hear a negative message from the world, we will be able to counteract that with truth. In doing so this will help ensure that the message which comes out of our mouth will be from a pure source.
After all, no one likes the taste of garbage in their mouth... unless they have acquired a taste for it, or even worse, they have no idea what real food tastes like.
That is why I am striving to do the following steps in order to make sure I have the right thoughts going into my mind.
1) I am memorizing Philippians 4:8. I want to memorize this verse so that I can be constantly reminded of the things I am to think on.
2) I am reading from the Bible daily. It is only by listening to God's message that our minds can truly be transformed. Find a plan and read every day to input the correct thoughts into your mind.
3) I avoid negative people. While I never want to exclude people, I need to evaluate who I am letting speak into my life. This applies to Facebook or any other social media. Look for people who lift you up rather than bring you down. Avoid a person who continually tears someone else down.
4) I avoid gossip. This step is closely connected with the previous step of avoiding negative people. While it is tempting to know what is going on with someone else (or think we know what is going on because often gossip isn’t the whole story), putting gossip into our minds does nothing but change our appetite from healthy to garbage. We should never let someone else’s misfortune be our source of entertainment.
These are four things I am doing to help make sure that the right messages are being put into my mind. After all, it really is Garbage in, garbage out.
I pray that we would focus on what is good and pure so that we can better fulfill our purpose in life for God.