Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Input = Output

I used to listen to country music (back before it was just rock or pop music with a different name). Matter of fact, there are still a *few* country songs that I like, but I don't listen to it anymore. Wanna know why? I don't like the person I am when I listen to it. Music has a profound influence on me and it probably does on you too. 

People say you are what you eat. I'm not sure about that but I do know you are what you think about. Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:" 

Someone posted on facebook that it didn't matter if you exposed yourself to filth as long as you knew it was fiction but that you shouldn't put up with that junk in real life. 

I completely disagree. Why? Because you are what you put in. Ever heard 'garbage in, garbage out'? It's true. The things you put in your mind and your heart directly influence the type of person you become. It's ok to be horrified by the atrocities that humans commit against other humans. Matter of fact, if you aren't you might should ask yourself why you aren't. What you have been doing to desensitize yourself?

The Bible tells us to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Ephesians 4:23), to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2), and that the "thoughts are the righteous are right" (Proverbs 12:5). 

The Bible even give us guidelines for what kinds of things to think about. God isn't trying to muddy the waters about how to live for Him and receive His blessings. Philippians 4:8 states, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."  It does matter what we think about. 

Have you ever stopped to consider if what you are thinking matches these criteria? That gossip about another lady- is it true? Is it lovely? That movie- is it of a good report? That music- is it pure?   Just learning- and applying- that one verse would change the way we think and therefore change who we are. 

Your output tells the story. What are you getting out of your thoughts? It will show up in your words and in your worldview. That all stems from your heart. Is it reflecting the heart of a woman who loves God? If you don't like your output evaluate your input. 

1. Recognize the importance of your thoughts. The Bible has a lot more to say about your thoughts and your mind (we are to love God with all our mind, after all) than just the verses I've listed above. Do a little study for yourself; mark down what the Bible has to say. Psalm 19:14 is a great place to start. 

2. Evaluate your input. What are you listening to? Watching? Reading? Do those things pass the Philippians 4:8 test? Would your listen/watch/read those things with Jesus sitting on the couch beside you? 

3. Change your input. If you need to make changes, do it. You will never grow past your obedience. Once you get to the place where you know you need to change and you refuse to do it you are stunted right there. You must obey. Make the changes to your input that you need to. I didn't say it would be easy. I didn't say your friends would understand. But God always blesses obedience. 

Memorize some of these verses about your mind and spirit and quote them when you need to remember your purpose. Remind yourself that you don't want to be full of garbage so you can't put garbage in. Find some accountability if you need to.

It will take time but you can transform who you are by changing what you put in. 

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