You’re Responsible for What You Allow in Your Mind
by Rick Warren
“A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.” (Proverbs 15:14 NLT, second edition)
Our minds control everything else about us. Our thoughts influence our feelings. Our feelings impact our actions.
What you think matters, because everything starts in the mind. To be a responsible person, you have to control your thoughts.
But let me relieve you of a little false guilt: You’re not responsible for every stray thought that passes through your mind. Stray thoughts enter our minds for a variety of reasons — conversations you hear by accident, things you see, stuff the devil puts in your mind, etc.
You’re responsible for how you deal with those stray thoughts. Martin Luther said it like this: “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”
God will hold you accountable for what you allow to enter your mind.
I’m amazed by what some people watch — not to mention what they let their children watch. Many true followers of Jesus spend their time watching trashy TV and listening to trashy radio. They pay good money to see deviant behavior as entertainment. People watching such shows have told me, “When I go see those kinds of things, it just doesn’t phase me. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t affect me.”
But that’s just not true!
Scientists have done study after study that says you never really forget any scene you see. Even if you don’t consciously recall the scene, that idea will come right back to your mind — in living color — when something else stimulates the thought.
In other words, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What you put into your mind will inevitably bear fruit in your behavior and beliefs. In fact, when trashy entertainment doesn’t bother you anymore, it’s a warning light that you’ve already passed the threshold.
One of Satan’s greatest tricks for attracting you to sinful lifestyles is comedy. That’s why on television or in movies, deviant behavior always starts in a comedic situation. If Satan can get you laughing at something that is sinful, you’ve already lost the battle.
Sin isn’t funny. Sin put Jesus on the cross.
What are you filling your brain with?
Talk It Over
Which form of media tempts you the most?
Who can hold you accountable for what you watch and listen to?
What are some practical ways you can help teach your children these principles?