One writer has compared our minds to a hotel. The hotel manager cannot keep a problem person from entering the lobby, but he can keep that person from getting a room and staying there. Similarly, you cannot cannot keep a problem thought from entering the lobby of your mind, but you can definitely keep that thought from finding a lodging place and taking up residence there.
The Bible has a lot to say in regards to the importance of us keeping our minds right. Here’s a starter’s list of verses (all from the N.K.J.V.):
- Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
- Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13)
- Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth. (Colossians 3:2)
- and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Ephesians 4:23)
- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
- 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. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
The central theme of all these verses is that the mind is ground zero of the spiritual battleground. If you cannot keep your thoughts (at least for the most part) pure, holy, and Christlike, you stand no chance of living a life that is (at least for the most part) pure, holy, and Christlike. The old saying about computers is “Junk in, junk out.” Well, the same thing can be said of your mind. If you mentally take in enough junk, eventually that junk will work its way out to your conduct.
That’s why I encourage you to start paying closer attention to the thoughts that are entering the lobby of your mind. Those thoughts come in by way of the ideas and images presented in t.v. programs, movies, songs, news reports, internet sites, videos, books, magazines, and conversations you have with others. Some of the thoughts are worthy enough to be allowed a room in your hotel, but many of them should be shown the door as quickly as possible.
When I was growing up in the 1970s, a popular advertising campaign for the United Negro College Fund said, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” That slogan focused on the problem of many black kids not having enough money to attend college. The fact is, though, the slogan can also be applied to living the Christian life. Yes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and it’s a shame that so many Christians aren’t doing a better job of flashing the “no vacancy” sign at thoughts that are unworthy of the high calling of Jesus Christ.