New International Version (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
God is so smart. Some people find Him in nature. I often find Him in science. In engineering we have a principle called a mass balance. Essentially what goes into a system comes out of a system. Even things that are absorbed during the process of chemical reactions impact the system. What you put in, is what will eventually come out. This also works for our minds.
I heard TD Jakes say, “rarely do people have fantasies of righteousness, dreams of good things happening, or the best outcome, or doing things to save the world. Most of the times our minds are filled with worry, doubt, unbelief, fantasies of sinning, anger, bad thoughts about people, dreams of how we can better our own lives instead of the world.” Why is that?
Garbage in=garbage out. What we watch, listen to, engage in, and open our minds and spirits to affects us. Listen to gossip for a long enough time, you will begin to gossip. Watch movies filled with lustful scenes all the time, you will begin to lust. What you take in, is what will come out. It’s inevitable. The passage above tells us to think on things that are good, pure, noble, praiseworthy,….the only way we are able to that is if we are purposefully filling our minds with good things. If we are purposefully spending time with God allowing Him to speak into our lives. If we are purposefully taking every thought captive and making it obedient to the Word of God. I am not saying you only read the Word, only spend time worshiping, or become a Monk. I am saying that whatever you repeatedly hear, you will begin to believe. What we open our minds to over and over plants seeds. Those seeds whether truth or lies, impact our spirits.
Fearful and worried thoughts are not from God. For there is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear.
Lustful thoughts are not from God. For love does not seeks its own pleasure but longs to do what is best for the other person. Lust seeks to take. Love seeks to give.∙
Hateful thoughts are not from God. For love does not hate. Love rejoices with the truth, but loves those who sin. Love convicts, but does not condemn.
Jealous and envious thoughts are not from God. For love is not jealous or envious. Love rejoices when someone else is blessed.
Rebellious thoughts are not from God. For love delights in doing the will of the Father. Submitting out of love and not obligation.
Vengeful and spiteful thoughts are not from God. For love desires restoration to the Father over revenge.
Controlling thoughts are not from God. For loves gives freedom and does not insist on its own way.
So, dear ones, may we guard our minds. The place where sin can easily creep in and begins to set up camp. May we take every thought captive and measure it against the Word. It’s seems like a painful task, but it is easier to demolish a thought, than a stronghold. Once we have dwelt on a lie or allowed sinful thoughts to take root in our minds, they are far more difficult to remove. May we put His Word in, and may His word come alive in us, working through us so we are transformed into the image of His glorious Son. In Jesus name, Amen.