Christian Universe TM
You Are What You...
February 22, 2009
Nutritionists tells us that "we are what we eat". There is truth to that. On a mental, emotional, and spiritual level, we are what we see, hear, and think. Historically, computer operators have used a phrase, "Garbage in, garbage out." That means that if you don't input the correct information in the proper way, you only produce garbage on the output. We should think of that as we consume all manner of filth, violence, and ungodliness through the media that we consume.
You Are What You...
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 02-22-2009
I grew up hearing health teachers and nutritionists preaching that “You are what you eat.” There is much truth to that statement. Our body consumes foods that supply us with nourishment in the form of vitamins, minerals, moisture, and fiber. It takes those building blocks and uses them to maintain health of the body, and to repair damage done by infections and injuries.
That set me to thinking that we are also what we see, hear, and think. We were taught in school that we have five basic senses, which are touch, taste, hearing, smell, and sight. These senses help us to survive and function in the natural world around us.
Two of those senses also fuel our inner being. That is, I think that we can safely say that “We are what we see, hear, and think.” Think about it!
We use our eyes for knowledge, that is, information gathering. We use them to read, and also to observe things that happen. Reading God’s word is very important. In fact, a chief criticism that Jesus had of the Pharisees who led the Jews in His time on earth is emphasized in this phrase that preceded many of His statements: “Have ye not read?”
Matthew 22:29: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
Most of us take reading for granted. In fact we take eyesight for granted. There are many who are blind in the world, and many who can see, but who cannot read. Many elderly lose eyesight to the point that they can no longer see to read. We ought to be thankful for the gift of eyesight, and should never take it for granted.
Seeing is one way that we feed our minds. In other words, we are, in part, what we see! All through the years I have had flashbacks to things that I saw in my younger years. If we see good things, we remember them. If we see bad things, we recall those, as well.
If we hang out with the wrong people, we will see things that we ought not see.
1 Corinthians 15:33: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34: Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
On a more personal level, our eyes can lead us astray in another regard.
Matthew 5:27: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29: And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Boys and young men need to be taught about the importance of marriage, and of avoiding looking upon women with lust. Pornography is also a scourge upon the face of the earth. It is addictive to many, and it changes the expectations of others, so that they are realistic in marriage. It sets forth many perverse acts that, if followed through upon, can damage women physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Especially for a young boy or young man, those images are burned into the mind for life. Pornography is damaging to both men and women.
Matthew 6:22: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
There is another danger to what comes in through the eyes.
Matthew 7:3: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4: Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
You can see almost anything that you go looking for. The point is not to be looking for the wrong things. Those things that you see feed your thoughts. You think about things so much that you want to do them. So, you are what you see.
Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
You are also what your hear. The ears are important instruments, bringing to our minds much-needed information.
Matthew 11:15: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Matthew 7:24: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
If we listen to God, whose word came to us through Jesus Christ, we are wise. If we do not hear God, we will surely fall. A common criticism that God has had of mankind is that he refuses to hear what God has to say.
Jeremiah 35:17: “Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.”
Matthew 13:15: “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16: But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
You listen to things that will harm you. People will lie to you, deceive you, use filthy and ungodly language around you, talk about nasty things and tell dirty stories, and so forth. However, you can reduce your exposure to this kind of talk by carefully choosing who to be around, how long you are around them, and the circumstances you find yourself in.
I also want to caution against magazines, books, songs, movies, and television shows. A lot of trash enters your mind through eyes and/or ears, and is absorbed, or assimilated, into who you are and how you think. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it will not influence you. I have always considered the defenders of television who have argued for decades that TV does not influence people. If they really believed that, then advertisers would not spend billions of dollars per year on repetitive ads. They know that the repeated exposure to these things will eventually sway you, one way or another. With all media combined—print, TV, radio, internet, and others—advertisers spend over $400 billion per year in the USA alone.
You do think about the things that come in through your ears and eyes. That is how your brain receives most information. You are influenced by what you absorb from your senses.
You are what you see and hear. Once you take in all of this, you think about what you have seen and heard. It shapes you. It makes you the person that you are, and will become. Once in your heart, it then comes back out in your speech and actions.
Matthew 12:33: “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34: O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35: A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Those things that enter you become your treasures. You either store up good treasures, or evil treasures, and then you show off your treasures to others.
Matthew 15:18: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19: For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”
If we have God in our hearts, that knowledge will come to the outside.
2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
Ephesians 4:17: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18: Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20: But ye have not so learned Christ;
21: If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
You are what you see, hear, and think. Be sure to take in the right the things, avoid the wrong things, and think about what is good and right. It will make you the person that God wants you to be!