by Erma McKinney
The fact that correct thinking and speaking are an actual battle within a person is emphasized by the Psalmist when he prayed, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
“What do you think?”
“What’s on your mind?”
“What’s your opinion?”
“What’s your reaction?”
“How would you advise?”
“What do you remember about that situation?”
“What do you recollect about that author’s writings?”
“How much Scripture have you memorized?”
“How much of that sermon has stayed with you; what of its content has helped to mold your life?”
“Wasn’t that a sad thing to hear?”
“What was the remark that made you laugh?”
“Why did you laugh when you saw that?”
“What was your opinion concerning the outfit that was chosen for the singing group?”
“Can you remember the tune and the words of the Gospel song so that you can sing it?”
“Can you mimic her speech?”
“Did you understand what you read?”
“Were you curious enough to do some research on the subject?”
“Are you comfortable; how is the temperature?”
“Do those shoes fit?”
“Did you have a good time?”
“What are your plans?”
“Can you type?”
“Does this room need to be painted?”
“Is the carpet in good condition?”
“Can you hear me?”
“What day is this?”
“What shall I plan to do today?”
Just think! Think of all the thoughts that we have in a day’s time, an hour’s time, a moment’s time! It is really mind-boggling! The above questions represent only a few exercises that our minds are constantly performing. But, are our minds sound?
“Sound” is a word of diverse meanings. “Sound” can be the measuring of the depth of a large body of water-a location in a sea or in an ocean or in a lake. “Sound” can mean the sensation of hearing set up when there are vibrations that stimulate the auditory nerves. “Sound” can refer to an object’s being free from defect, damage, or decay. It can also mean that something or someone is not weak or diseased or impaired but that something or someone is whole and in good condition=normal or healthy. “Sound” is used in the Bible to refer to a gift from God, the gift of a sound mind as opposed to the spirit of fear; the gift of a sound mind that includes the gift of power and of love. (II Timothy 1 :7).
Any gift requires maintenance; if we don’t take good care of the gift, it decays, it is damaged, it develops a defect, and it becomes weak. The gift of a sound mind that is given to us Christians resides in the temple where the Spirit of God resides. We are to take good care of that temple; we are not to defile it (I Corinthians 3: 16-17). We nutritious-minded ladies are very careful to feed our bodies and the bodies of our families the right foods. We do not serve foods that are not heart-smart, low-calorie, low-fat, etc. foods. Furthermore, we certainly do not reach into the garbage can to get ingredients from there for the preparation of a meal that we would set on the dining table for the consumption of ourselves or our families! But what is our conviction concerning what we feed our minds and the minds of those with whom we live or whom we teach or even those with whom we casually converse? Are we reading books and magazines that edify us; so that in turn we can edify others? Are our minds “feeding” on sensuous, filthy television programs that defile us? Are our minds thinking on gossip that we have heard?
It is interesting that God in His Word makes this statement, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he …. “(Proverbs 23:7). That’s interesting; doesn’t the mind do the thinking? Jesus made a distinction between the mind and the heart: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Jesus, however, said in Matthew 9:4-“And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” Obviously, our hearts become associated with our minds. We are speaking of our hearts as the seats of our
emotions. “Heart” is defined as being “one’s entire emotional nature and understanding.” So, where do our thoughts lead us emotionally? Do our thoughts come from a well-maintained sound mind which leads us to love, to have good convictions and to have the power to live by those convictions? Or do our thoughts defile and weaken our sound minds, therefore leading us into emotional tailspins that cause depression, illicit lusts, unwise decisions, all of which lead us to a broken relationship with our Heavenly Father, thus leading us to become bad examples to those who are asking us for leadership and help.
Think! Up to this minute of the present day, what has entered into our minds, Christian ladies? Several minutes of reading our Bibles and praying should have come during the early morning hours; several more minutes of Bible-reading and prayer should be in today’s schedule before going to sleep tonight. Only a “smattering” of the news should bombard our minds just so that we can keep informed concerning the local, nationwide, and world-wide events. We do need to know about leaders who could affect our lives so that we can pray for our government officials as commanded by the Lord. Good music is a help in maintaining a sound mind. Let’s take a few minutes to finish answering the question, “What has entered into our minds today, Christian ladies?” Are we comfortable with the scrutiny that God is giving our thoughts? At some point we all need to ask His forgiveness and His help in making some changes, as well as help in maintaining good
reading, good television viewing, good listening to conversations, correct decision-making. Let’s work on keeping the sound minds that God has given to us.
We have discussed the fact that the heart is affected by the mind. Our emotions and our deep-seated conclusions come from thoughts of the mind. Then the mouth speaks! In Matthew 12:34 we read, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” What do the words that come from our mouths reveal about the contents of our hearts? What are our convictions about what we say? Have we determined that our words will be kind words, helpful words, fitting words, words that are acceptable to God? If so, let’s determine our own strong convictions concerning what enters our minds.