Today’s Mindful Monday devotion is about what’s sitting on your shoulders. No, no, not your fancy new hairstyle or your new baby’s spit up 🙂 Your head…or more precisely, your mind! Have you ever stopped to think about the amount of information that enters your brain in a given day? There’s so much information we take for granted. Good things like your child’s first time saying, “Mommy, I love you!” (I’m still waiting on that 10 years later though he tells me with his eyes often. But that’s a story for a different day). Not so good thoughts like troubling world events, our neighbor’s gossip about the latest political scandal, the next internet virus to watch out for….your husband complaining about the Super Bowl or the cost of the garbage pick up…you name it.
I read a devotional the other day by Billy Graham that’s stuck with me. Probably because it’s something that’s been on my mind anyway as there’s someone in my life who is very negative and always complaining and griping about something and I have to be careful to not let it rub off on me. It’s human nature! That’s why the devotion hit home for me, I think. I don’t want to become like that person in my life! I want to be very careful. Anyway…here’s what Billy Graham says:
ABOVE THE DIN
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:5
“We Christians are not to be conformed to this world in the way we think. The world by its advertisements, its conversation and its philosophy is engaged in a gigantic brainwashing. Not always consciously but sometimes unconsciously, the Christian is beset by secular and worldly propaganda, calling us to live for ourselves and to put things and selfish pleasures ahead of God. The world’s sewage system threatens to contaminate the stream of Christian thought.
However, above the din we can hear the voice of Scripture: ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God’ (Romans 12:2)
Time yourself the next time you read the Bible and pray. Compare it to the amount of time you spend watching television or surfing the internet. Is God getting His share of your time and attention?
Is the world shaping your mind –or is Christ?”
-“Hope for Each Day; Morning & Evening Devotions” by Billy Graham
Did any of that ring true with you? Ouch! It did for me. What goes into your mind always comes out one way or the other. What you focus on, what you give your time to, the people you are around, the media that influences you…it all goes in and whether you want it to or like it to, it always always come back out. Perhaps not right away, perhaps when you’re frustrated, a word slips out and surprises even you. Perhaps a behavior you thought you’d kicked rears its ugly head and shows up and blows your testimony. Emotions can flood in like high tide and bring with it an ocean of negative thinking, self worthlessness, down talk, rants that make those you love the most feel like the opposite of what your intention was. TV commercials that you don’t even realize are having an impact on you come back to you at the grocery store. Buy this product, you’ll be sexier! Drink this juice, you’ll live longer! Try this perfume, he’ll ask you out!…on and on it goes. How many jingles from childhood can you recall? Our minds are literally God’s created computers on our shoulders. They store so much data! We need to be just as careful about what we collect in our brains as most of us do on our computers! We’re more careful about the virus protection on our computers than what goes into our minds (sad but true!)
What I’m trying to say is that we really have to be careful what we let go into our minds in the form of conversations, TV shows, internet sites we visit, books we read…I could go on. In our modern culture, there’s no shortage of information overload and it all can keep us from being the kind of person the Lord designed us to be. Oh sure we all say, “it’s just a TV show”, or “just a video game”. Oh yeah?… Did you read that last paragraph and really think about it? Media has a lot more effect on us than we realize. So do those we choose to spend time with.
“Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” – Matthew 15:17-19
It comes out of the heart by first going into it by what we see, think, hear, read…you get the picture…
Be careful little eyes…little ears…little hands…