My pastor passed on some wisdom he had received from one of his college professors: “If you get it out of your heart, it won’t come out of your mouth.” His takeaway from that is to put into your heart what you want to come out of your mouth. Feed your mind with what you want to reflect. If you feed it words and images of divisiveness, hate, mistrust, and fear, what kind of person do you think you’ll become?
What sort of words do you think will come spilling from your lips? Paul implored us to speak only words that build others up (Ephesians 4:29-32). If you constantly feed your mind with messages that tear you (and others!) down, you can never do as Paul says.
I know the world has gone a little crazy. Okay, maybe more than a little. But I also know that amid the lunacy, there has never been a better time to shine for Jesus. As the world descends ever deeper into darkness, now is the perfect time to illuminate the despair with the glorious light of Jesus. We must not focus on the dark, but the radiance of Christ. The light of Jesus can lead people out of the darkness. The darker the world, the greater the opportunity for us as disciples of Christ.
It’s easy to focus on all that is wrong with the world. With all the information at our fingertips, we can effortlessly get caught up in the madness. Our call is not to look like everyone else, but to be different and set apart. Instead of despairing over the state of the world, we should instead rejoice at the opportunity before us. That’s not just positive-thinking psychobabble. The Gospel has always spread fastest and furthest when Christians faced the direst consequences for living out their faith.
A recurring theme in my writing is to get your focus off yourself and onto Jesus. It’s not because I’m out of ideas, but because this is the primary tool of Satan. It might come in many disguises, but pride is his original tool of choice (Genesis 3:1-6), and it remains the most effective item in the devil’s toolbox 10,000 years later. We show our pride when we consume our thoughts with our self. We are not worthy of such attention. Only God is.
The world’s darkest times are opportunities for the Kingdom’s greatest moments. But you will squander this moment if you continue to feed your mind with the same diet the world ingests. Like Daniel, we must refuse the food of the world (Daniel 1:3-20) and feast on the Bread of Life (John 6:35). If we will keep our focus on Jesus, only allowing good, true, and praiseworthy things into our hearts (Philippians 4:8), our mouths will pour out the love of Christ. That is what our world needs most. More than any vaccine, more than any political leader, the world needs Jesus. We have the antidote to what ails our planet. Feed your mind with Scripture and beauty, and let your mouth speak life into a dying world.