on the power of the mind – what are you thinking about?

I have been thinking about this article for the last couple of days:

Cyber Sexuality – Newsletter – ChristianityTodayLibrary.com: “According to Dr. Mark Laaser, director of the Christian Alliance for Sexual Recovery, ‘Historically we would have said women are addicted to romance novels or women are addicted to chat rooms,’ but that’s changing. The number of women hooked on pornography and other ‘more behavioral ways of acting out’ are dramatically rising. Our culture and what we spend our time thinking about are literally changing the way our brains are wired. As a result ‘women are getting rewired to be more visual and aggressive’ and they’re ‘acting out in direct ways.’

This rewiring—which happens in men as well—is changing us neurochemically and neuroanatomically, says Dr. Laaser. And it’s not only through repeated exposure to sexual imagery on TV, in advertising, or online. The primary agent of this mental transformation is due to how we use our minds: what we spend our time thinking about, fantasizing about, and meditating on. Our brains and thoughts are molded by what we surf for, how we chat, and what we write. This negative transformation is the diametric opposite (and dramatic fulfillment) of the principles found in Romans 12:1-2.”

The thing you meditate on tends to dominate your value system and way of life. This article is a negative example of how crucial it is to spend a great deal of time reading and thinking about God’s Word.

The last two years our church spent a good deal of time reading the Bible through. All our sermons were geared to preaching the Bible through. The whole experience lifted the spiritual lives of those committed to the project. (Not all were!)

I was talking about this article and this concept with a visiting pastor friend this week. It occurred to me as we talked how difficult it is to by faith make the focus of your mind the Word of God. God’s Word, while interesting enough to me as a Christian, doesn’t have the sizzle that the world offers to my flesh. The CT article referenced here focuses on illicit and explicit sexuality – an area of huge attraction to the flesh. But there are many other ‘sizzling’ attractions to the flesh in the world besides this particular topic. Consider the sporting world, the fashion world, the music world, and so on. Consider even dry topics like history or genealogical studies — I have a distant cousin who is obsessed with our family tree. Through her efforts I know my family history back to 1550. But this woman cannot hear the gospel because she is obsessed with “Johnson”.

The Word of God, on the other hand, can seem dryer than dry. It can seem that nothing is happening as I read it faithfully day by day. Some days I can’t bring myself to it. That is when faith must act. I look at the Word by faith and I put my time into reading, thinking, absorbing, meditating – and a transformation takes place. This is faith, not sight. And that faith can’t be mere words, it must be faithful action or a spiritual vacuum takes place. And where there is a vacuum, other things rush in to take God’s rightful place in our lives.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3