I think we all recognize the importance of the food we allow to enter into our bodies. If we eat a lot of sweets or fried and unhealthy foods, we’re going to be fat, lazy and sick. When we eat healthy fruits and vegetables while limiting our intake of the less healthy stuff, we will be reasonably trim, energetic and healthy. Whether we choose to eat the right foods or not is an issue unto itself, but my point is we all understand at an intellectual level what we should eat and the consequences of not doing so. Yet when it comes to what we feed our minds, we seem to be much more reckless and perhaps even unaware of the consequences.
What we allow into our minds has a tremendous impact on our attitude, our outlook and our personality. It has an immeasurable affect on how effectively we will be able to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. When we fill our minds with things that are not of Christ, we limit our ability to act in ways that are pleasing to Him. In our world today, we are bombarded by advertisements and programming that assaults our senses with messages that are contrary to the teachings of Christ. We are told we deserve the best things in life and that acquiring more stuff will make us happy. Our entertainment – be it movies, television or video games – is saturated with violence and promiscuity; sex sells and we apparently are buying. Reading or watching the news is a mind numbing journey through negativity and chaos. In the midst of all this, we endeavor to live a life like Christ, a life characterized by good news, service, peace and love.
It is well accepted that you are what you eat, so it follows that you are what you feed your mind. There is an alternative, however. In Philippians 4:8, we are told, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (HCSB) This is the food with which we should be filling our minds. This is the healthy stuff that will allow us to fully live out the life we were created to live. Inasmuch as we are focusing on these things we will be able to manifest them in turn to the world around us. If instead we choose to feed our minds the garbage the world is dishing up, that is what we will have to give back.
The choice is ours; just as we choose what we will eat, knowing full well the consequences before it ever reaches our lips, so too we must understand the effects of what we allow into our minds. The music we listen to, the images we watch and the things we read – these all shape our effectiveness for the Kingdom of God. What we think about is who we are. The question then is, “Who are you becoming?” You can change the person you are by changing what you allow into your mind. It’s time we put ourselves on a mental diet. Don’t let your effectiveness be ruined by careless disregard for what you consume. Think on the Holiness of God and the goodness of His mercy. Whatever is good and pure, think on these things.