Your Mind: Is It a Weed-Free Zone?

weed_controlEach year at this time there’s a little shift in my daily routine.  My interests are directed to my garden which is an area of the yard that’s usually neglected.  I closely watch it to see when the yellow flowers become tomatoes and the beans and the zucchini begin to sprout.  I also add a little fertilizer to stimulate the growth of the plants; however, I put a fence up around the garden to keep the cats out; I don’t like their soul-enriching methodology.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize it’s better to dispose of a weed when it first appears.  This prevents it from developing strong roots or dropping its pollen and contaminating the rest of the garden.

The vegetation in a garden is much like the thoughts in your head.  Some can bloom and produce a beautiful crop of beneficial thoughts and productive ideas; others are weeds that are detrimental to your mental well-being and they can make a blooming idiot of you.

To live a well-ordered life, a life that’s more fruit than folly, you must manage your thoughts when they first appear.  Winifred Gallagher has said:

“Living the focused life is not about trying to feel happy all the time… rather, it’s about treating your mind as you would a private garden and being as careful as possible about what you introduce and allow to grow there.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson recognized the power and potential of a person’s thoughts when he said, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

When you read Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, he said your mind should be a weed-free zone; and, the only way to accomplish this is to take your thoughts captive.   If you fail to manage your thoughts and to take them captive, they will captivate and control you.

“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Corinthians 10). ~The Message

If you would like a better understanding of what it takes to discipline your mind and to become more aware of your thoughts, Dr. Caroline Leaf has some practical suggestions.

 

Hoarding The Holy

 

stack-of-books1Be honest, do you live a “keep-it-just-in-case” life?  If so, you probably think of yourself as thrifty, but this rent-more-storage- mentality can come at a high price.

Because some people are so reluctant to depart with anything, their life is a huge, messy, and disorganized existence.  The International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation calls attention to this troublesome lifestyle by calling it hoarding and listing three criteria that defines it:

  1. A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people, and
  2. These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended, and
  3. These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities.

There is a classification of non-typical hoarders who are referred to as Bibliotaphs.  Their compulsion is to cache or hoard books, and they may even keep them under the security of lock and key.

From a Biblical perspective, the Bibliotaph can be thought of as being healthy. This is true in the limited sense of the Bible being memorized or hidden in your heart.  David confessed to being a Bibliotaph, and Joshua encouraged people to practice it as a discipline:

  • Psalm 119:9-11: How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
  • Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Clinging to the world’s goods will never fill the void in your soul, so avoid them and add God’s blessings instead.  Solomon gave this piece of advice that’s worth hoarding:

My son, do not forget my teaching. Let your heart keep my words.  For they will add to you many days and years of life and peace.  Do not let kindness and truth leave you. Tie them around your neck. Write them upon your heart.  So you will find favor and good understanding in the eyes of God and man.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding.  Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:1-6 NLV)