Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 23, 2012

The Voices in My Head

 

Sometimes it is just plain hard to know the right thing to do. Take the upcoming Presidential election, for example. I have listened to every debate and much of the following commentary after each one. Yet it is still hard to discern where each candidate actually stands on the various issues. Why? One reason is that it is difficult to separate the actual truth from political rhetoric which seems more intent on denigrating the opponent than in honestly and truthfully answering the question at hand. And secondly, while statements regarding the opposing candidate’s actions or comments may not necessarily be false, they are taken out of the original context and often misrepresent the actual position of the candidates on various issues. So, who do I listen to? Who do I believe? How do I make my decision? And that’s when the voices in my head begin!

Before you think I’ve really lost it, let me explain about these voices in my head. No, I do not hear actual voices. These voices can come as thoughts that run through my mind. They can present themselves as strong feelings that I just cannot shake. Sometimes these voices can mimic people who are important to me. At other times, they can remind me of things I would just as soon forget. These voices can make me smile, inspire and encourage me. But they can also provoke anger or tears, discourage and condemn me. What are these voices? Who do they belong to and how did they get in my head?

Believe it or not, these voices actually come from my own heart and mind. I’m sure that most of us have probably heard or read the adage: “Garbage in, garbage out!” This saying originated with computer systems meaning that a program would only be as good as the information entered into it. If poor data were fed into the system, the output would also be poor or invalid. This saying, however, also holds true for you and me. The voices that compete for attention in my head are a direct result of what I have fed my mind. What books or magazines have I read? What television shows or movies have I watched? Who have I listened to when I needed advice? All of these things which I allow to enter my mind and thought processes, both good and bad, will become voices that can influence me when I am faced with choices and decisions. And, more times than not, when we allow garbage in, garbage will come out.

So how do we protect our minds and hearts? The Bible offers a few suggestions.

  • Keep our perspective.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Surely, we have to be concerned and involved with things in this world. But believers need to face these daily struggles in light of a much greater reality which is expressed in the following verse. “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). No matter what we face in this world, the promises we have in Christ far outweigh these temporary problems or situations. We need to keep our focus on what we have in Christ.

  • Examine our commitment.

 

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

How do we love God with our minds? It is easier for me to understand how we show love for God by our actions – by worship and praise, by showing love to others, by doing kind and helpful things. But this Scripture tells us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. What does this kind of love look like? We can find an example in the book of Joshua in the Old Testament when Joshua delivered a charge to the Israelites before his death. “’Now therefore,’ he said, ‘put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.’ And the people said to Joshua, ‘The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!’” (Joshua 24:23-24). A mind that truly loves the Lord is totally, completely committed to God. We study His word, know His word, and try as best as we can to obey His word. When other voices tempt to draw us away, we hold fast to our commitment to the Lord our God.

  • Engage in total trust.

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind” (Luke 12:29).

A mind divided is an anxious mind. A mind that is torn between competing messages is an anxious mind. A mind, however, that is totally surrendered to God and that trusts in Him can have peace even during difficult times. As the prophet Isaiah reminds us: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).

  • Be aware of the ways of the world.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

The Scriptures remind us that we will have trouble in this world. Jesus, Himself, stated: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Paul told the Romans that “the carnal (worldly) mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). Believers are called to not conform to the world, but to be transformed by the truth of God’s Word. Adhering to God’s truth can help us recognize and resist temptations. It can also help us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in our lives and thereby be guided by Him instead of falling victim to the changing mores and values of the world.

 

I am discovering that the more I do these things, there is one voice that drowns out all the others. This is the tender voice of the Holy Spirit that dwells within me (see Romans 8:11), who guides me (see John 16:13), empowers me (see Micah 3:8), helps me (see John 14:16-26), gives me discernment (see 1 Corinthians 2:10-16), and gives me peace and joy (see Romans 14:17). This is the voice I want to hear. This is the voice that I want to lead me and guide me. I want to weigh every other voice I hear and every decision I make against this voice; be it a vote for a presidential candidate, or a decision over the right thing to do. This is the voice that will bring peace to my heart and mind. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). This is the voice I want in my head!

 

 

 

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