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Soaking It In - Encouragement Café - September 16

Soaking It In
 By Joan Walker Hahn

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

Being a grandmother is simply the best!  I have four little ones that have blessed me with the name of Bebaw.  It’s so fascinating to see how their little minds soak up things quickly.  I can tell my memory has gotten worse, but they seem to remember everything (except where they took their shoes off!) Even the youngest one, at 15-months old, is learning new things every day.  The younger ones are learning by watching the older ones and the oldest one is learning by questioning everything.

The down side to soaking up everything they see is that everything they see is not always good.  They can’t be kept away from everything and everyone. And even if they could, bad behavior doesn’t have to be taught. We are all born with sinful natures.  Unfortunately, even after we have received Christ as our Savior, our old sinful nature is still a part of us.  

But it’s not just children who soak in so much information.  Everything we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, everything related to all of our physical senses, enters into our minds. Those images and experiences stay with us, affecting us in ways we may not even realize. Information overload is real. Things that are seen now openly in life or on TV, in books and magazines, on social media of any type, are things that would have made people blush years ago. Today, we hardly even cringe.  

Then once things are in our minds, our behavior is affected.

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  Matthew 12:33-35

It’s impossible to avoid some things.  We can’t exactly walk around with our eyes and ears closed.  But as much as possible, we can control what we look at and what we listen to.  The Bible states it this way:

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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

It takes discipline on our part to guard our hearts and minds.  It may mean staying away from certain people that can’t seem to control their language or topics they discuss.  It may mean not reading certain books or magazines.  It may mean turning off the TV or internet.  It definitely does mean we need to spend more time in God’s Word and in prayer.  Like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, we need to, “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

May we all seek after wisdom and be careful what our mind soaks up.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving us our physical senses and minds to process that information. May we spend time in Your Word, seeking wisdom so that, like it says in Proverbs 4:23-27, we may:  “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Joan at joanwalkerhahn.com.

© 2019 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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Christianity / Devotionals / Encouragement Café / Soaking It In - Encouragement Café - September 16