The “GIGO” Rule

In our modern, fitness-obsessed society, we are continually being told that we are what we eat. And while there is an obvious truth to that, there is an even greater truth in what God tells us-that we are what we THINK! The Bible tells us in Proverbs 23:7, that as we think in our heart, so are we.In both cases, the “GIGO” rule applies-Garbage In, Garbage Out. Whatever we put into ourselves, whether physically in what we eat and drink, or mentally in what we think, we effectively choose for ourselves the sort of future we will have.

You want good outcomes? Then make a conscious decision to choose only good inputs!

Our enemy, the devil, understands all this only too well, and is always around to “help” us shovel the garbage in. He is, after all, the “god” of garbage, the lord of the flies, and has a vested interest in seeing garbage come out of our lives!

Our mind is often the main target for the devil, and it is in our mind that we fight our greatest spiritual battles. It is our mind that struggles with fear, doubt, temptation, greed, lust, pride and the rest of the seemingly endless list that makes up Satan’s smorgasbord of sinful seductions.

Many people think they can’t control their minds and their thoughts-that somehow what goes on inside their heads is nothing to do with them. Nothing could be further from the truth!

God tells us very clearly in His Word that we can and should control our thoughts, and that if we resist Satan, he will flee from us (James 4:7). In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, the Bible talks about spiritual warfare, something all Kingdom business professionals face every day of their lives out there in the cut-and-thrust of the marketplace.

Paul tells us that our weapons are “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ …” The New Century Version puts it this way: “We capture every thought, and make it give up and obey Christ.”

Never in the history of the world has there been such an onslaught against the minds of the people of God. Television, films, the Internet, radio, newspapers, magazines … information, opinions and entertainment flow in through the “gates” of our ears and eyes at warp speed as the cacophony of the media increases exponentially. It is our responsibility to put a guard at these “gates,” and be very careful who and what we let in to our minds!

The Apostle Paul, in Romans, gives us a clear warning of what can happen if we let thoughts become “futile” and corrupted-“Professing to be wise, they became fools … and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind … being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness …” (Romans 1:21-32).

When we are genuinely born again of the Spirit of God, our immediate response is to repent, which means literally to “think again” or to “think differently.” In other words, while our Spirit is transformed instantly by God, and made one with Him, it is our responsibility to change our minds and way of thinking.

Paul says we are to be “transformed” by the “renewing” of our minds (Romans 12:2), and to be “renewed” in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). Peter puts it this way: “So prepare your minds for service, and have self-control” (1 Peter 1:13, New Century Version).

What we think, determines our world-view, how we see the world around us, and where we fit in. If our thoughts are corrupted and “futile,” then our world-view is distorted and corrupted, and we will lurch from disaster to disaster in our lives, never fully understanding what is swirling around us.

If we have a God-centered, positive and optimistic outlook, then we tend to attract positive people and events to us. Dr. A. R. Bernard talks of what he calls “sympathetic resonance,” whereby something vibrating with a particular pattern will set other things that are tuned to the same wavelength vibrating too.

Unlike in the field of magnetism, where opposites attract, in the field of human endeavour, like attracts like. Birds of a feather flock together-and you grow to be more like those with whom you regularly associate. By associating with Jesus and His people, we are changed into the same image “from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). But on the other hand, “Do not be fooled-bad friends will ruin good habits” (2 Corinthians 15:33).

Even the godly Job, whom God called “blameless and upright,” allowed his thoughts to go off track, and his fears opened him up to a savage satanic attack. Job 3 begins with him cursing the day of his birth, and then goes on with a whole spate of negative and fear-filled statements, concluding by saying: “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me … I have no rest, for trouble comes.” (Job 3:1, 25, 26).

Dwell on your fears, and like Job, they have a habit of “coming upon you.” Dwell on the good and godly things, and you will attract them instead. (The good news of course is that Job changed his mind later. He “captured” his thoughts, and God ended up giving him twice as much as he had before!)

The key to controlling your mind is to saturate it with good and positive and godly thoughts-to meditate on the Word of God, and to bring every thought into the “captivity” of Jesus Christ. This is Paul’s recommendation: “Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected … and the God Who gives peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

Gerry Robert, a Christian motivational speaker who wrote the best-selling book, “The Millionaire Mindset,” says: “Whatever you think about, you bring about. So be careful what you think. Never think about what you don’t want. Don’t talk about things you don’t want. Don’t entertain ideas you don’t want showing up on the canvas of your life.

“The conscious mind is like a farmer deciding what to plant in his field … you decide which seeds you will plant, by the thoughts you think.

“The beauty of being a human being is that we can reason and choose our thoughts. You can choose to create options and responses to produce wonderful results in your life … You have the ability to choose the thoughts in your mind.”

A wise person once said, that where you are today is the result of the choices you have made so far in your life. God gives us free will and the power to choose. It is an awesome power, and one that we must be very careful not to abuse.

God has given us the power of choosing our thoughts-what we put into our minds. Jesus Himself, in the Gospels, makes it clear that He gives high importance to the mind. When He repeats the command given in Deuteronomy 6:5, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength,” he makes a particular point of adding “mind” in each of the three Gospel accounts (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). Even though the concept of the mind is incorporated in the soul, He still thought it important enough-in case we missed the point-to specifically add “mind” in each case!

We are a spirit, we live in a body, and we have a soul. Our soul is the centre of our thoughts, willpower and emotions. We can control our soul and its thoughts, as David did. He actually spoke to his soul, and gave it orders: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? … Bless the Lord, O my soul … Return to your rest, O my soul … Praise the Lord, O my soul.” (Psalms 42:5; 103:1; 116:7; 146:1).

If David can do it, then so can we! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). A mind that can do much more than we ever dreamed possible.

With God, all things are possible. No matter how hard it seems, and no matter how muddled our minds may sometimes be, He has given us a sound mind, and He has told us that we can control our thoughts, “capture” them, and force them to obey Jesus. For, after all, we have the very mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

He will not do it for us-but He has given us everything we need to control our thought life, and allow into our minds only those things pleasing to Him.

He has done His part-He has given us His Word, and in it, all the guiding principles and faith-building Scriptures that we require. Now, we are to do our part-TRUST AND OBEY, for there really is no other way.

Garbage in, garbage out?

It’s a matter of choice!

By John Gagliardi

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