1890) Garbage In, Garbage Out

By Rick Warren, posted June 13, 2018 at:  http://www.pastorrick.org


     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?


Proverbs 15:14  —  The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on trash.

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.  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.

Galatians 5:13-26  —  You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh: rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


O Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech thee to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and forever, we may be preserved in body and soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

Book of Common Prayer

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