Filtering what we allow into our minds (what we see, hear, experience)
is just as important as what we allow to come out of our mouths.
The connection is undeniable.
Our hearts and minds are like sponges,
soaking up whatever immersed in and then pouring out the same when squeezed.
You cannot fill up a sponge with vinegar and
then squeeze it and expect to receive honey.
When Jesus was talking to his disciples about whether food going into the body makes a man unclean, He taught them that what is in the heart
is what comes out of the mouth.
“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’;
but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”
(conversation recorded in Matthew 15 and also in Mark 7)
In a world filled with open-sewer entertainment...how can we protect our hearts from becoming filled with the garbage that will
make them hardened, course and unclean?
The whole chapter of Proverbs 4** contains a lengthy answer,
but verse 23 sums it up:
“Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.”
The world has long been telling us that bad things are “cool”
and good things are “uncool.”
Why should we avoid what everyone else says is okay?
Because we have been warned…those who twist the truth are doomed.
We must not follow them. We are meant to be different.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
“Do not love the world or anything in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
The world and its desires pass away,
but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
1 John 2:15-17
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation,
in which you shine like stars in the universe
as you hold out the word of life.”
We are not alone. God will provide His peace to guard our hearts when we obey.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, 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.”
**Wisdom Is Supreme
4 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father’s house,
still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,
“Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor. ”
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;
they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.