“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.” (Philippians 4:8)
God tells us how to occupy our minds: with things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Of course, it isn’t always easy to do that with all the mental and spiritual “junk food” that you take in throughout the day, either by choice or because it’s thrown at you from the TV, radio, or internet. For a cop, the challenge is even tougher because you see horrific sights and vile human behavior on a regular basis so you get more “mind poison” than most people. Yet God in His kindness has provided help.
One great remedy for “mind poison” is God’s ageless antidote—His Word. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” God’s Word cleanses our way: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). It also provides comfort and joy: “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:8), “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me” (Psalm 119:50).
Read God’s Word. Commit Scriptures to memory and recite them to yourself from time to time. Bible memorization isn’t just for kids in Sunday school. The more Scripture you commit to memory, the stronger you’ll be against the devil’s “mind poison.” 1 John 2:14 says, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”
Another remedy for “mind poison” is to confess sinful thoughts to God. Proverbs 24:9 says, “The thought of foolishness is sin.” People can’t see your evil thoughts, but God can. “I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them” (Ezekiel 11:5). So confess them to God. He knows them already, but He wants you to admit your wrongdoing. If your kid has crumbs on his mouth and you ask if he’s been in the cookie jar, you already know the answer, but you want honesty. God wants honesty, too: “I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). Confessing sin will also help you steer away from things that provoke sinful thoughts to begin with.
Still another great remedy for “mind poison” is to pray. “Casting all your care upon him [upon God]; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). God cares about your behavior, but more importantly, He cares about you. Everyone has cares and troubles. God wants to help you with them. The old hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven and Charles C. Converse goes in part like this:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer.”
When you pray, give God details. He already knows them, but He wants you to confide in Him. He wants you to see how He answers and gives peace, as well as the help for your thought-life that comes from His Word and from confession.
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Brian Miller 5/23/2017
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822