Thursday, March 13, 2014

Put Good In, Get Good Out

I thought of that creative title for this post, and then I thought, "Hmm that sounds familiar. Isn't that a slogan on a commercial?"  Turns out, it's the catchphrase for Minute Maid orange juice.

Image source -

Oh well.  I just thought I was being creative.  Apparently mass advertising worked its little brain-tricks on me!  Anyway, on to the post....

Today is my day off, so I woke up around 9:30 and habitually grabbed my iPod Touch from my nightstand to check for any emails or messages.  As usual, Bible Gateway had emailed me the "verse of the day," which I opened and read.  Good start to the morning, right?  
That was the only email I had, so I switched over to Facebook.  After checking messages and notifications, I began lazily scrolling through the news feed.  For the next ten minutes or so, I read all the pointless statuses and sarcastic comments, looked at random pictures friends had posted, took the "who's your celebrity boyfriend" quiz and shared the results, and learned what everyone I knew had been doing for the past 10 hours while I'd been asleep.  

As I switched off the iPod and got out of bed, it hit me -- I had just started off my day by filling my mind with useless junk.  

Waking up and reading the verse of the day was good.  Even reading an email from a friend or a fun comment on something I'd shared on Facebook wasn't a bad thing.  But suddenly I regretted spending that chunk of time pouring all that uselessness and even negativity into my mind, letting that be the starting point of my day.  It was something I couldn't get back or do over.  

Ironically, my Bible reading just yesterday included Colossians 3:2 -- "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."  How important it is to intentionally fix our thoughts "above" the things of the world, rather than on all the crap that surrounds us!  So why, I asked myself this morning, is it so much easier to let the junk into our minds than it is to let the good in?  

The answer?  It's in the word "let."  The negative, pointless, discouraging, time-wasting things of this world are all around us, and we can simply let it in.  No effort required.  Taking good, uplifting, God-honoring things into our minds requires more effort.  Often it's more than just letting it in.  Often we have to seek it, pursue it, and intentionally take it in.  Practically speaking, it requires a lot more focus and intentionality for me to start my morning by reading a Bible verse and praying than to mindlessly scroll through Facebook.  

And it isn't only about the morning.  In multiple situations and conversations throughout every day, we will face the choice to "let junk in" or to "put good in" our minds.  Will we choose the easy route, or the one that may be a little harder?  

That may depend on what kind of fruit we want to bear.  As Minute Maid has so aptly declared, "Put good in, get good out."  It's a simple concept.  Good oranges make good orange juice.  Or as Jesus said, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good...for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart" (Luke 6:45).  

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