Evangelist, Chouteau Hills Church of Christ
Most of the basketball teams have been eliminated by now, and many are saying, “Just wait till next year.” They are determined to do better next year than they did this year. Most students are out of school for the summer, and their grades have been recorded. Many are resolving to make better grades next year. As we go through life, it is a great attitude to plan to do better in the future than we have done in the past.
Solomon gives us the secret to living a better life when he writes in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” In the Bible, the word, “heart” often refers to the mind or the intellect of man. Solomon is saying that we need to protect our minds from filth, including negative thinking.
In Matthew 9:4, Jesus asked, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” And He said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” In other words, what we think determines what we do and say. The words that come out of our mouths originate in our hearts or our minds. So, if we want to talk right, we must control the way we think.
Similarly, our actions stem from our thinking. Our thoughts direct us to do the things that we do. So if we want to act right, we must think right. The way we act, just like the way we talk, depends upon what we put into our minds. One can pollute his mind by watching the wrong kind of movies, listening to dirty jokes, or by reading filthy books and magazines. If we read, hear, and watch filth, then we should not be surprised when filth comes out in our words and in actions.
David tells us that rather than heeding the counsel of the ungodly, or standing in the path of sinners, or sitting in the seat of the scornful, we should delight in the law of the Lord and meditate upon it day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). Filling our minds with righteousness (which is God’s word, according to Psalm 119:172) will cause us to be happy. It will cause us to talk and to live in ways that are pleasing to the Lord.
The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Determine to close your mind to lies, trash, and filth, and fill your mind with things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. This will go a long way in improving your life.
Let me encourage everyone who reads this article to resolve to be a daily Bible reader. In this way, you will be allowing God to speak to you every day. Also, take time to talk to Him in prayer each day. Ask Him to give you wisdom and to bless you in your study of His word. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
We know what happens when garbage is put into computers. The same is true when garbage is placed in the human mind. Don’t allow Satan to fill your mind with filth or negative thoughts. Keep your mind pure! James tells us in James 4:7-8, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” With God by our side, we can be better and do better. Thus, the future can be brighter than the past. It is my prayer that God will bless you in your efforts to live a better life.