You’re probably familiar with the famous axiom given to us from the technology field: GIGO—Garbage In, Garbage Out. It was devised to call attention to the fact that computers will unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input (garbage in), thereby producing worthless output (garbage out). What you put in, you will inevitably get out.
What is true for computers holds true for people as well, which is why Scripture reminds us to think good thoughts.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about such things.(Philippians 4:8)
God’s Word makes it clear that what we put into our minds shapes our lives. If we put garbage in, we can expect to get garbage out. We are shaped by what we watch on television and in the movies. We are shaped by what we view on the Internet. We are shaped by the music we listen to. We are shaped by the people we habitually associate and converse with. We are shaped by what we read . . . and what we don’t read. The law of exposure says whatever we are repeatedly exposed to will ultimately shape us. That is why Paul tells us to think about “such things” that will glorify God and benefit others, including ourselves.
So . . . where in your life has the law of exposure been affecting you lately—for good and for bad? Are there any changes you need to make regarding “Garbage In, Garbage Out?”
“Let us test and examine our ways,” Jeremiah urged, “and return to the Lord!” (Lamentations 3:40.) Prayerfully consider what you have been consistently ingesting lately. Are you taking in any garbage? Without making time to inventory what you have been exposing yourself to lately, it’s easy to miss the negative influences that so easily creep in.
Rarely will negative influences knock you right off course. That would be easy to detect and appropriately respond to. Instead, the negative influences in life gently nudge you off course, one small step at a time, one step here . . . another step there . . . and before you know it you find yourself in a place you never intended to be and not even fully understand how you got there!
I often tell the students that sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go and keep you there longer than you ever wanted to stay. That is why we must be intentional about what we put into our minds on a daily basis.
So here is a new GIGO mantra for you to keep with you wherever you go: GOSPEL IN, GOSPEL OUT. Keep preaching the gospel to yourself everyday and watch what God does with your life for His glory and the good of others—including your good!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!