My devotion from Girlfriends for God was about keeping control of your thinking. It was titled “Think Right, Live Right” and the author talked about how she did what she thought she had to without listening to her body. (She had been in a car accident and been very sick but still decided she had to go crazy for Christmas.) This author, Mary Southerland, has also battled clinical depression, something I can certainly identify with.
I get devotions from Neil Anderson as well. I’ve mentioned him many times in my blogs and my facebook friends read quotes from him in my status updates all the time. He works quite specifically with problems of the mind. According to Neil, demonic influence of the mind is a major cause of problems for Christians. (If you are struggling with any issues in your life, like things from your past or addictions or anything like that, I highly recommend reading Neil’s book The Bondage Breaker.)
I think Mary and Neil are absolutely right. The Bible talks a lot about guarding our hearts and minds. Paul said in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Nowhere in there does he say to think about your past sexual abuse, or to think about how you were bullied in school, or to think about a former lover. No, you think about what is right and honorable.
If you’ve read my past blogs you know that I struggled with depression as well, and at a point where things went very bad, God revealed to me that my problem was spiritual. I went off my medications and discovered it was true. satan has been working hard to mess up my thinking and drag me back down. I have found that following Neil and the apostle Paul’s advice to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) makes all the difference in the world.
We have no control over the thoughts that pop into our head for the most part. It’s when we allow them to take up residence that we are asking for trouble. That is satan’s strategy. He’ll introduce something into our minds, ever so subtly, and wait for us to destroy ourselves with it. He’s a master of it, which is why he is known as the father of lies. But when we grab that thought before it takes root and give it to God, it has no power. satan, then, has no power. It is a conscious effort to do that. It becomes more of a second nature as we learn to trust in God more.
Guarding our minds is also an effort. I think what we allow into our minds is something we need to be more careful about. The world has become very desensitized to tragedy and horror and even basic immorality like lying, stealing and premarital sex because of the media – the things we watch on TV and in movies and even read in books. That is why I have recently restricted myself to PG and better in everything I watch. I’m quite fascinated by shows like CSI and Criminal Minds because I love the psychology of it all, but because of the explicit nature of those show (not to mention the lack of basic biblical morality) I have decided to excise them from my program choices. And we own them all on DVD.
I have basically adopted the idea that if Jesus were sitting on the couch with me, would we be watching this?
Does this sound weird to you? I don’t doubt it. I think even my husband is having troubles grasping this one. (I haven’t restricted him, only myself.) But I really feel if I want to give myself fully to God I have to remove things of this world from my life.
When you think about it, it’s pretty awful that we’ll sit and watch people kill each other and find it entertaining. It’s no better than the ancient Roman’s watching gladiators being torn apart by other gladiators or lions or whatever. Many think that that was barbaric. Is what we watch on TV any better? I really don’t think so. And the result of this programming is devastating. It takes our minds away from what is honorable and right and pure and lovely and of good repute and excellent and worthy of praise.
Our minds are our very souls, the very essence of who we are. We need to stop giving the enemy free reign of our minds if we are ever to live in the freedom Christ gives. And that may mean making some choices about what we allow into our minds. I’m doing just fine without watching the shows I used to watch. And I have found that not watching this stuff makes it easier to think about the things that I ought to.
Perhaps you should try it.
Be immersed in the wonderful Grace of God,
How about you? What are your opinions on what’s on television and in movies?