Ralph Waldo Emerson once quoted “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” while I don’t share Ralphs’ religious views I can agree with the above statement, I think we all can. our mind is fertile ground for sorts of imaginings, some good, others not so good.
But where do these thoughts come from? Are they self-propagating, free from any outside stimuli? Are they just spontaneous, like in the old days when after it rain people saw worms on the surface of the ground and assumed that wet ground could spontaneously form worms? No, our thought come from the outside before they come inside. we live in a media-soaked world with so much visual stimuli around us 24/7. there a bill boards on the roads, televisions with multiply ads and programs, the internet ever fill of all sorts of stimulus, and the all ways present smart phone in our hands waiting for us to open apps, or the internet to fill our insatiable appetite for information and entertainment.
in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:8 in says ‘All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.’ We claim that these things are tiresome, yet we still want more. There is so much visual stimuli that our eyes see and what we see has an effect on our thoughts.
Last Sunday I preached on the armour of God and made mention that our mind is a battlefield and thus need to ‘wear the helmet of salvation’ to keep our mind free from the enemy. But at times we take off the armour and become our own enemy. What things do you listen to, what movies do you watch, what books, magazines, eBooks etc. do you read? what we let enter through our eye gate will produce thoughts in our minds, do we sow those thoughts?
Galatians 6:7-8 ‘Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.’ whatever we dwell on is how we ‘sow’ a thought, we think on it, about it and if we do not let Christ take captive those thoughts, we can then easily act on the thought. Let us not deceive ourselves, how many times have we got mad at someone, stewed on it and then when we saw that person, let fly with our rage. The thought of revenge (or to let them know they offended us) becomes an action, one that does not glorify Christ.
If we pollute our minds then we become sick, a sickness that left unchecked can lead to spiritual death, Luke 11:34 states ‘Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.’ Is our body full of light or darkness? If we let unChrist like images into our mind, they can form into thoughts that can take us captive, and led us into temptation, and temptation when acted on leads to sin, and sin leads to death (Roms 6:23).
We can combat this issue, with Christ. Firstly, what are the things that you are watching, reading etc. If they fill your mind with things that are not good, then stop. Before I gave my life to Christ, I loved to read the novels by David Eddings. His novels were filled with magicians, sorcery, witches, and magic. These were not incidentals, but rather major plot lines to the story. There were occultic overtones to these books. As a Christian I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to not read these types of novels anymore. I like fantasy and sci fi novels, so this was a struggle, but then a Christian friend introduced me to Stephen Lawhead, a Christian author who writes fantasy and sci fi novels, praise God. I knew that reading the wrong books would influence my thoughts, after all what fellowship does light have with darkness? NONE.
We are called to be children of the light, Ephesians 5:8 ‘for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.’, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 ‘ For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.’ and 1 John 1:7 ‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.’ Let us walk as His children, putting aside all those things which cause us to stumble, let us not let things of darkness enter through our eye gate. You are His child, live a life worthy of Him in Christ.
Please leave a comment, or a suggestion, I do read them.
In Christ our redeemer Ps Jeff