From his book “As a Man Thinketh,” Author James Allen said: “Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes, And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes the tool of Thought, and , shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills—man thinketh, and it comes to pass—environment is but his looking glass.”
In brief Allen suggests that your mind is akin to a garden…take heed of what you plant…for as you soweth that will you also reap.
My mind is my garden to tend—my thoughts are my responsibility and I am on a mission to rid myself of the trashy stuff and replace them with that which is life giving and character enriching. To listen to our vocabulary you would think we are victims of our thoughts. Someone says “Don’t talk to me, I am a bad mood.” This is said as if the mood were a geographical place not simply a chosen mindset—sort of like “Don’t call me, I am Zimbabwe.” Perhaps you have heard the expression “Don’t mess with ______ she/he has a terrible disposition.” Is a disposition something we “have”? Like a cold or a flu—or is it something we often choose? Are we thus victims of the emotional bacteria of a particular season? Or do we have an empowered choice? When it comes to what I allow to feed my mind there is no victimology—I am the solo doorkeeper for what I feed my mind.
With this in mind I have made some recent choices concerning some television programming that I find very negative, and divisive. I don’t need to get into the particulars except to say I have made some deliberative choices to no longer occupy my mind with what I deem trashy. Apparently there are millions of others who have also tuned out and are seeking more positive and hopeful mental input. The channels I can tune to in my mind are many and for me it pays to be vigilant with my mental remote.
My ongoing decisions to guard my mental focuses are part of what it means to me to heed the words of 2 Corinthians 10:5 “demolishing arguments and every pretension that sets itself against the knowledge of God, and taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Do you hear the battlefield jargon in that passage to demolish arguments and pretenses, take every thought captive, make your thoughts obedient…You get from this that we are soldiers and our thoughts can become enemy forces. Our assignment is to protect the gateway of the mind and refuse entrance to trashy thoughts. The minute they appear—we can go into action against them. We can declare to ourselves and our hearts “This heart belongs to God—and trash is not welcome aboard.” Jesus said it a bit more harshly when Peter encouraged him to deviate from God’s highest plan “Get thee behind me Satan for you have not in mind the things of God.”
I close with another quote from James Allen’s book “As a Man Thinketh,” “A person’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth.”