We’ve all been bombarded with diet advice from every angle conceivable. Try eating no grain, whole grain, gluten-free grain… a lot of “pain-in-the-grain” advice that confuses even the most nutritiously educated person. There is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to dieting. You have to keep trying things out, and find what works for your body-type. Is this the same for your mind? Should you simple put things in there by the movies you watch, the things you read and the internet?
If you listen to most of the Western culture mind-set, you can feed your mind whatever you want to, from 24/7 news to action movies to YouTube videos featuring every known subject possible. But is this a good mental diet? Have you ever really thought about a diet for your mind?
Nothing is more important than what you feed your mind! Here’s why: “Thought is the real causative force in life, and there is no other. You cannot have one kind of mind and another kind of environment,” said Emmet Fox in his booklet called The 7-Day Mental Diet (you can download it from e-bookspdf.org). Emmet was a Christian thinker in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He taught and encouraged many through his ideas about health and inner peace.
Fox’s ideas were influenced by one of my favorite verses in the Bible, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–THINK about such things.” (Phil 4:8)
What we put in our minds, what we ponder day-in and day-out, is often times what we become. Take for example the recent horror story that came out of Waukesha, Wisconsin, where two 12-year old girls tried to stab their friend to death because of an internet character they believed was real. I wonder how many hours these girls spent filling their minds with this gruesome character, Slender Man, who encouraged murder? His victims were mostly children. Day-in and day-out for months on end, these girls most likely spent reading about him on the internet, fantasizing about him, and it changed their thinking to the point they tried to commit murder! Thank God their victim survived. Nevertheless, one girl held the other down, while the ring leader stabbed this innocent friend 19 times! Who does such a thing, and at such a young age? These girls became immune to violence, and their souls became darkened. Their “mental diet’ was horror, violence and hate.
As light bearers in a world growing increasingly dark because of easy access to very disturbing images and stories, we have got to keep our minds filled with the good things Paul speaks about in Philippians. What is true? Jesus is the Truth. What is noble? Anything that shows or has fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals. These are things that are right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Things we can easily see that are excellent and deserving of our approval. Fill your minds with these things, think about them, contemplate them day-in and day-out and you will be changed for the betterment of yourself, those around you and for God’s glory!
Next time you want to watch something impure, read something dark or be tempted to contemplate disturbing thoughts, stop! You’re on a “mental diet” and that stuff is junk food.