If you have lived long enough, like 10 years or so, chances are extremely high that your mind has been reprogramed and even rewired according to this world. TV, movies, advertisements that are even rated G or PG sexualize women, promote greed and pride, while breeding selfishness. And the norm for society, well just watch any reality show – they cater to the average.
Combine this with today’s technology that brings access to pornography, 24/7 for free – anywhere, any time – with anonymity, it’s no wonder people’s minds are jacked! Now add instant communication, constant dependence upon texting, snapchating, tweeting, and other social media and what do you get? Don’t stop there. Let’s add instant access to anything at any time – Google entertains us! The web is filled with Top 10 this, scrolling pages of cats and dogs and people being stupid, videos of people failing. Well, these are tools that are used for both good and bad purposes. The reality is that they are reprogramming us!
This is a must see video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKaWJ72x1rI – it’s only a few minutes. You see, the internet affects the way we are learning and thinking. And this is scary in and of itself. But really, it’s the quality of the content, the quantity of information (from text to pictures to video) and the frequency as well.
There is new neurological research that reveals that porn is as potentially addictive as heroin or cocaine: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/10/10846/. Essentially, watching, viewing or doing anything long enough rewires and reprograms your brain. On the positive, look at an athlete – they ‘practice’ things until they get muscle memory – and really, they are forming new synapse connections and new neurological paths within their brains. Porn does the same thing as does any habit, good or bad.
This is not a new problem. But with today’s technology, we have the ability to get deeper into this mire at an alarming fast rate. These tools combined with an anonymity and a 24/7 for free access, anywhere and at any time is like pushing someone down a raw bacon coated mountain. It is this fast paced information age that gives me 200 emails a day and a perception that I can multitask as I read emails, respond to people and surf the net on my favorite reading subjects of the day, while shopping online all while attending a web conference call.
So, what do we do about it? Talking about these things with one of my Son in Laws, He offers this quote from a book called “Letting Go of Your Bananas”:
“Control your thoughts, because they will become your words. Control your words, because they will become your actions. Control your actions, because they will become your habits. Control your habits, because they will become your character.”
You see, it all starts with the mind – in controlling your thoughts. But what if our minds have been reprogrammed, rewired or even short circuited from today’s lightning paced information flow and that other junk from above?
Well, fortunately, this is addressed in the Bible very clearly. There are many places, but let’s have a look at Philippians 4:8-9.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
To renew your mind, do these things.
- What are the things that are true to you? For me, God is love. God is the creator and sustainer of everything that is seen and unseen. God is real.
- In your life, what does noble causes look like? Protecting the weak. Providing for our families. Loving my wife with a unconditional love. Forgiving your enemies.
- Think about this – when you have done the right thing in ‘your circumstances’, what does that look like? Is it standing for your beliefs? Is it having courage through hard times? Is it having a peace about things that others just don’t understand?
- What is lovely? A child’s purity? An innocent action? Giving? Serving?
- Who do you admire and why? What are those qualities or actions that you have seen that cause you to admire that person? Perhaps they were self sacrificing.
- Excellence. Art, science, sports, life, nature? Where do you see excellence, what speaks to your heart?
- Praiseworthy – read a Psalm a day and think about your life – how does it touch your soul?
- God has provided to us a field guide or users manual – the Bible. It’s all right there.
- There is a lot of talk about many things in this world, but compared with eternity and our lives hereafter, we should probably focus much more of our time thinking about Heaven and our lives eternal. This life is a blink of an eye compared to eternity.
Left on our own, we drift. As Philippians 3:18-21 show…
“18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
The bottom line here is that we must battle our minds into submission and this can be a moment by moment effort. We need to protect our minds from all that is not worthy of Christ. We are either in a state of renewal or a state of decay. There is no middle ground. Is there any reason that you can think of not to have a plan to guard yourself?
I will leave you with some verses…
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Psalm 119:11 ESV
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Ephesians 4:23 ESV
And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
John 8:32 ESV
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Joshua 1:8-9 ESV
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Colossians 3:2 ESV
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.