Often times we’re quick to discuss what we consume on a daily basis, well, food that is. Whether we need a quick detox to boost our immunity and clear our minds, or to shed a few pounds, evaluating our dietary consumption is pretty normal these days.
But, what about our mental diet and the countless messages (whether verbal or visual) that we consume each day? Does the Bible not encourage us to carefully assess our thought patterns and that which comes out of our mouths (a direct byproduct of our thought life), in order to live holy lives for the glory of our Maker?
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect..” Romans 12:1-2 NLT
“But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” Romans 7:23 ESV
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Psalm 141:3 ESV
I’ve asked myself, and now I’m asking you, how important is your mental diet? And are you aware of what you are actually consuming? Similar to how calorie-counting can shed some pounds and clear our mind, so monitoring what we watch, read, listen to, and think upon, can free us of damaging clutter that creates toxic behaviors and attitudes.
“My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.” Proverbs 23:19 NLT
Allow me to preface this post before I begin.
I deeply believe it is the active role of the Holy Spirit, not mankind, to convict a person’s heart concerning any destructive behaviors present in one’s life. The Bible clearly expresses what is right and good, and what is sinful and harmful for the lives of mankind. For example, the Bible states “do not murder”, so we know that murder is wrong. But, many other decisions are more ambiguous, such as: should I no longer watch this TV show?
“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer. ” John 16:7-10 NIV
When the Holy Spirit convicts, and the person responds to the conviction by turning away from the behavior, joy, peace, and freedom are fully expressed, because the person has obeyed God.
However, when humans dictate what others should do for the cause of being holy (such as making dietary laws, or imposing their own personal convictions on another), then a person may temporarily oblige, but resentment and contempt for the person will soon follow. This is why forced religion (perhaps in the form of legalism) generates fear of man versus God, and a lackluster approach to knowing and worshipping the Creator God. Avoid this approach at all cost.
I share this with you, because I have absolutely no interest in condemning or trying to play the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting you of certain behaviors in your life. Ultimately, what you choose to fill your mind with, must be between you and the Almighty. However, let me encourage you in ways to fill your minds with positive influences, in order to produce a harvest of good fruit (while simultaneously glorifying your Creator) in your own lives.
Just as the saying “we are what we eat” is proven to be true, “we are what we think” is also highly valid. How high or low you think of yourself has huge implications on how you present yourself to others and what you achieve in this life. As my pastor likes to say, “We will never rise above the level of our thinking”. You must see yourself as you truly are in Christ. So, how exactly do we do this?
Join me tomorrow as I share four specific ways you can transform your thought-life (through the power of the Holy Spirit) by a practical, biblical focus on the positive in order to live a better life and glorify God.
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