“Garbage in, garbage out” is what your mother maybe told you growing up. It’s a simple proverb that reminds us of the importance of being mindful of what we consume. If we fill our minds with ungodly, impure material, then it will eventually influence the way we live and subsequently determine how we act. Your thinking, and what you meditate on, is directly connected to how you live (Mat. 15:18-19).
Paul, understanding this truth, wrote to Titus about this principle:
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” (Tit. 1:15-16).
Notice: purity of life effects purity of outlook; the reverse is true as well. If you have a pure mind, then you don’t look for suggestive innuendos in innocent remarks; your mind doesn’t turn to ill motives or intentions. Rather, you face each situation with an innocence, looking for the good, and seeking purity and genuineness. The pure in heart recognize there are sacred things that must be held in the highest esteem.
For the impure mind, on the other hand, nothing is sacred. All things are common and unclean; nothing is worthy of respect, worship, or honor. The mind of this individual looks for the corrupt. It sees innuendo and sexually suggestive motives in the most innocent of gestures. It tells crude jokes and makes other people feel uncomfortable when they refuse to laugh. How they think influences how they act toward others. Sadly, they proclaim to know God, yet in their life, you see no genuine piety or holiness; only detestable practices and hidden sin.
From where does such mentality come? Every person sins and Christians wage war against the flesh, yet some chose to feed their appetites while others choose to fight. What we consume influences how we conduct ourselves. If we are constantly imbibing pornographic images, watching curse saturated films, and listening to worldly music, then we shouldn’t be surprised to one day wake up and discover that we no longer have the mind of Christ. Garbage in, garbage out.
We must guard our hearts against such evil influences (Prov. 4:23) recognizing our weaknesses (1 Cor. 10:13) and refusing to place our mind in a place that it doesn’t belong. We cannot deceive ourselves into thinking that companions—even digital influences—have no effect on our character (1 Cor. 15:33). We must renew our minds by the word of God, and thus give our life over to the will of the Lord (Rom. 12:1-2).
For if we learn to think right, then we will learn how to live right.