The Workings of the Mind

I’m no brain expert. Furthermore, I’m not at all sure how God has designed the mind in such a way as to filter out some things and not others. What I have learned is this; similar to what they use to say regarding computers, “garbage in—garbage out (GIGO).” For example, as one researcher notes:

“You may think that TV does no harm because you know it’s not real, but…your subconscious believes it to be real. This is why your heart beats faster whilst watching horror films, or you can be kept on the edge of your seat when watching an exciting movie.”*

A year or two ago I had a conversation with one of my grandsons on this very idea. I’m not certain what, on his end, prompted it, but I do recall my response because I still think about it today. The bottom line involved the GIGO idea.   On my end, I explained to him how I stopped watching my favorite television show because I was not liking its impact on my thinking. I truly enjoyed the show, one of the few series I watched regularly. But what it was doing to my mind afterward was not helpful so I stopped. In fact, over a period of a few months, I stopped watching all TV drama series simply because one, they seemed to serve no purpose and two, they were becoming so predictable.

If my grandson remembers our conversation, I’m happy. If he doesn’t, then I’ll not be surprised. However, I remember it well and repeat to myself often, regarding a good many things, “garbage in—garbage out.”

Recently, in our adult Bible study, I asked the question; “When you squeeze and orange, what comes out?”

They all just looked at me, and then one person said, “Orange juice.”

“Exactly,” I said with some enthusiasm. Then added, “Orange juice, because that’s what’s in there.” I went on to ask, “When we get squeezed what comes out?”

Jesus made the observation that it’s not what goes into a man that defiles him (primarily referring to food), but what comes out. Because what comes out issues from the heart. All that goes to the heart, gets there via the brain.

Interestingly enough, King Solomon spent a good deal of his early years writing wisdom sayings not for himself, but for his children. His hope is that they would understand the value of wisdom and live their life according to its principles. You might say—good stuff in, good stuff out. He wanted to help them ensure that when they were squeezed, good stuff would come out. I expect his concern was not so much that they could recite his sayings, but that they could understand the teachings of the Torah and how living under its secure umbrella would, more often than not, bring peace and prosperity. It wasn’t a matter of do this and life will always go well. (The wisdom sayings were more principles than promises.) But Solomon knew, if he planted good seeds in the mind and heart of his children, the harvest would reflect itself in how they lived their lives. Good stuff in, good stuff out.

Even though I’m not in close proximity to my kids and grandkids, I pray for them daily. I pray that they will put good stuff in, in order to get good stuff out. I pray that they are not only surrounded by friends who are Christ-followers and encouragers, but that they would be courageous enough to be friends to others and show them what it means to be a Christ-follower. I also pray that their parents know the value of the GIGO principle and guard their children’s hearts and minds ferociously. That they will provide only the best for them.

I’m no Solomon, but I do have a prayerful concern and love for my family. My prayer is always that if squeezed, good stuff comes out.

Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.   (Proverbs 4:10-13)



1 Comment

Filed under Thought

One response to “The Workings of the Mind

  1. Richard Thornrton

    Norm, I salute you for the positive stuff you have shared here. Your friend, Dick Thornton


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