When I saw the opening words attributed to Epictetus, the Greek stoic philosopher who lived almost twenty centuries ago, I thought to myself, “It sure does take work to think productively.”
When I read the list of words, Epictetus attributes to the proper workings of the mind, two of them jumped out at me–refusal and repulsion.
What must I refuse to believe?
What must I refuse to enter my mind?
What must I set my mind to repulse?
Do I know and try to avoid what God considers repulsive?
Bad thoughts from bad sources have the ability to corrupt and overthrow the mind in an instant if we aren’t careful.
Bad thoughts from bad sources cause us to make wrong choices, steal us of our yearning to grow, direct our preparation to wrong areas, distort our purpose, and stunt our desire to assent with God’s intentions for our lives.
I know…I asked you to chew on some deep stuff this morning.
To keep all of this simple–we become our thoughts, and we have a choice in what external forces we allow to impact our thoughts.
Is your mind working properly as defined by Epictetus?
Are your thoughts derived internally from Him?
Are your thoughts derived externally from other people, places, and things?
What then can pollute and clog the mind’s proper functioning? Nothing but its own corrupt decisions…
Proverbs 4:20-23, “Pay attention, my child, to what I say. Listen carefully. Don’t lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning. Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”