For it is by grace you have been saved...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

You Are What You Eat...and Read, and Watch, and...

So I'm scrolling through some Twitter stuff, when I see a link for this story on our local news station. 
It's a heart breaking story about the damage done by Tropical Cyclone Pam as that storm worked its way through the South Pacific.  No laughing matter at all.  And yet, when I first saw the headline on Twitter, I had to do a double take.  Because what my sci-fi degraded mind saw at first was something about a "Cylon-hit hospital," and I thought, 'Oh my goodness, they've finally arrived and are attacking!'

For those who might be unaware, there was an old TV show called Battlestar Galactica.  I understand there was a modern remake, but being cable/satellite deprived, I didn't see that (though I've heard maybe it's good that I didn't).  Anyway, the "bad guys" in this particular sci-fi adventure were a bunch of cyborg/robot like creatures called Cylons. (I'm sure influenced by Doctor Who's Cybermen, and a precursor to Star Trek's Borg, further proof of my geekiness) I watched that show a lot when I was younger.  And it stuck.

So that's the way my brain is trained, and when I read the headline, the background wiring took over.  Now, in my defense I was reading this on my phone.  Small screen.  Small, cracked screen.  Coupled with bad eyesight.  Legitimate, degenerative eye condition along with age-related-reading-glasses-required kind of stuff.  And hey, we all misread stuff sometimes, right?

But it got me to thinking about the old idea of "garbage on-garbage out" with computers.  The old "you are what you eat" mentality.  And it reminded me that we are not only what we eat, but what we read and watch and listen to and participate it and so on.  What comes out is what we spend the most time filling ourselves with. 

Jesus told us on a couple of occasions that what comes out is what we've already put in.  Matthew 12:34, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."  And Matthew 15:18  "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart..."  I recently heard someone share an article that was tying this in with some science report suggesting that our heart muscle actually has a brain of its own and does its own "thinking."  I don't think that's the point.  Jesus is obviously referring to our heart in terms of our inner being, our soul, our essence, etc.  And the point is, that which we spend our time reading, seeing, hearing, focusing on; that's what will come out of us. 

Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying.  I'm not going on a "you can't watch TV, or listen to that evil music" kick.  I am saying that we need to be aware that what we choose to spend our time "ingesting" will have an influence on us.  Especially in the "unconscious response" category.  Our default setting if you will.  It's influenced heavily by what we choose to "program" our heart/mind/soul with.  

Maybe that's why Paul encouraged us to "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." (Colossians 3:2)  Maybe if I spent more time in the Word and less time with worldly entertainments, my first response to an article like the one I mentioned would be compassion and prayer for hurting people rather than a geeky old TV reference.  

I know this is a cheesy example.  A misread word.  No big deal.  But it does bring up a bigger issue. Just a reminder to be aware, be cautious, and not take up all that brain programming space with junk! 

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