Monday, September 03, 2007

What Think Ye?

by Dee Bowman

Thinking, the process of digesting information, is common to man. While it is true that animals—and even plants, for that matter—engage a kind of crude thinking, real thinking is peculiar to man. It’s part of his nature, part of who and what he is.

Thinking is the process by which we formulate our choices; and choices are what makes us what and who we are. Everyday, we do think, and every day we make choices. Some of our decisions are small and seemingly insignificant at the time we make them. Others are important and have lasting consequences. Even the small choices, however, can often be of much more significance than we thought when we made them. Actually, there is no such thing as an unimportant choice. And all of them are result of how we think.

One of the prime purposes for the revealed word of God is to facilitate thinking, making it possible for the choices we make to be truthful and productive of the highest possible good. 1 Corinthians 2 argues that fact clearly. Read it when you have time. And think about it.

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). That’s where it all begins. When your thinking begins with God, good things happen. The last part of that verse gives a true indication of what happens when God is the not the beginning of our thinking. Listen to it: “They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” See what happens when God is not in our minds? We become “corrupt.” That means we become depraved, devoid of good conduct. Another result of leaving God out of our minds is “abominable works.” Abominable works are those that are detestable or loathsome. They result from not having God in our mind. And the finish of the verse is very graphic depiction of what is the end of those who choose to think about everything selfishly and without respect to the Creator: “there is none that doeth good.” That’s a terrible indictment.

God defines what is good, for He is the essence of good. He is good and cannot be bad. As a result, all that He calls for, all that He does, all that He approves or rejects, is good, for He is good. That makes the Bible, His word, the most important thing in your life. It means that He has spoken what is good. All He has said is good. “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him” (Psalm 34:8). Thinking good things makes us like Him and gives us a trusting reliance on His grace.

Paul enumerates some good thinking in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are high things to contemplate, noble things to consider. They deserve our attention—and regularly.

These things are fodder for meditation. If you give some thought time to God, using these simple thought-starters, you will profit immediately. Your attitude will take on a new vivacity. Your true aspirations will become more spiritual. Your focus will be sharper, and your hope brighter. “Honest” things—or as some renditions say, “honorable” things—make for high considerations. Thinking things that are “just” just results naturally in good decisions, fair ones, too. Things that are “pure” produce nothing but good. “Lovely” things bring peace to a troubled mind. Contemplating “good reports” keeps us from considering gossip, scandalous conduct, and other trash. These wonderful thinking-things, and others like them, make for a balanced mind and a high expanse of spirituality.

Perhaps the most obvious passage of Scripture having to do with proper contemplation is Proverbs 23:7: “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We become what we think. Those who give their minds to gross, inordinate things are more apt to be involved in pornography. Those who have a grasping mind are more liable to be involved in lawless endeavors at financial success. Those who are excessively prideful are destined to bring eventual misery and wretchedness to themselves because of such self-elevation. You become what you think. A scary thought, don’t you think?

Now that makes the word of God so vital. So why don’t we think about it more?

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