Pondering the Principles of Proverbsmomentary random thoughts
In Part 1 we learned that your heart determines your life, which basically means that YOU determine your life. I say that, because it is up to you to guard your heart.
In Part 2, we learned that evil actions are preceded by evil thoughts. If that is the case, then it is necessary to learn how to control our thoughts.
How is that possible? Thoughts just seem to zip in and out of my head with complete randomness. I can be going along minding my own business, not thinking about anything in particular, and BAM! Out of nowhere a thought pops up—sometimes good; sometimes not so good.
But, we are not talking about any kind of exercise of discipline like trying to stop thinking about certain things. The necessary method of control is one of being pro-active.
We control disease, for the most part, by washing our hands. In that way, many diseases are stopped in their tracks—not able to move into our bodies. That is being pro-active against the invasion of disease.
We need a pro-active system for stopping the “evil” thoughts from entering our minds.
Jesus put it this way: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts--murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. ” (Matt. 15:19 NIV)
"You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say." (Matt. 12:34NLT)
So, if these things come from the heart, then we need to know how they got there in the first place. Again, we saw in Part 2 that the effect of the fall of Adam is that sin is in the heart of every human being. That is where it starts.
However, for those who have been born again and given a new life, the question must be asked once again: How do those thoughts get in and lodge in the heart of a believer?
Here's the simple answer: we let them in through the sense gates, the main two being sight and sound.
In today's world, we are bombarded almost every moment with sights and sounds. Some of these we can control, and some we cannot. The problem is that we have become so accustomed to all the “noise” that we are rarely—if ever—aware of what is actually going on.
When you hear the phrase “nine eleven”, there are certain images that automatically come into your consciousness. Those who are older will recall certain images when they hear “Challenger disaster.”
What about “beautiful flower,” or “breathtaking sunset?” Are there images that automatically pop up from your memory for your conscious awareness? Or, do you have to struggle to bring an image up? Many folks find that they have to hold the thought of beauty in their consciousness for a moment or two before an image will appear.
Isn't that interesting?
Ugliness is instantaneous. Beauty takes time.
Is there a clue here as to how we can be proactive in guarding our heart?
Yes, and we will look at various strategies in our next and final installment on this topic.
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