There are some things that are not very good for us. For instance, it is not wise to eat fried foods all of the time. Although it may be delicious, it has numerous ways of harming our health. We may choose to smoke heavily, and that also has its consequences. If we were to drive over flooded roads during heavy rains, we would run the risk of becoming stranded within our submerged vehicles. We could very well be stuck in a place of potential danger. If we think about things that are hazardous to our mental health, chances are, we will pay for it in some way.
Everything that we choose to do has a result. My two boys choose to play their video games, and the longer that they choose, the more frustrated they become. They get irritated, sometimes angry, and have a hard time reaching an end point. Sometimes I just sit and listen to them go back and forth about a game. Over and over. After so long, their mother or myself have to end it. Not a good result for them! We have to shut down their gaming session because they simply cannot manage the things involved within their limited time of this addictive choice.
I sometimes choose to let others get to me. I see and hear the things that they do, and let their ignorance bother me. I sometimes think that I need to identify my self-diagnosed borderline narcissism, and step away from its harmful play. I know that it creeps into many situations, and I have studied myself enough to know that I possess faint qualities related to self-importance. It is like my opinion or view is a bit above the next guy’s when it is something that I feel strongly about. That’s not cool. I am praying and observing this harmful thing within that is directly connected to my pride, or ego. I realize that this harmful thing that I do is also a choice. I choose to put myself around others that do not realize their ignorance and how it affects them, as well as those around them. I choose to let it stir within me and work up these feelings and emotions that are not of the Spirit. His Spirit. I think about the pain that these individuals are causing others and themselves, by looking further down the road and recognizing the consequences that will come. Ugh! I guess I do it because I have already made the stupid choices that they are choosing to make, and see the dead-end that is coming? Or, maybe I am too focused on things that I cannot change? Whatever the case, I am choosing to think about these things. I am getting results from the things that I choose to think about.
For decades, I would think about many harmful things. Many sinful pleasures. I would focus on flaws; my own and those of others, and pick them apart by dwelling on them, instead of just observing them and choosing to work through them in a proper manner. I was choosing to not make better choices. As I have grown, and am growing in His ways, I am slowly becoming more of what He wants, and less of what I have wanted. I genuinely look at the “true self,” made up of many things. Choosing to observe the physical, mental and spiritual. I observe the many parts of who I am as a man, as a father, as a friend, as a child of God, as a student and teacher, as a born-again man of faith, as a sinner, a servant, as a physical being and as a very real person living a very real life. I can choose to do many things within it, and can reap what is sown. I’m constantly learning from mistakes, and looking deep within to witness the works of His light, and the deceitful works of the adversary. I pray for the strength of the Lord, and allow repentance to function within. Pushing to have a genuine relationship with Him, embracing His amazing grace and mercy.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
8 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 these things.
If I choose to think about the things that bring peace, I will receive His beautiful results. If I make wise decisions, I will reap a bountiful harvest. If I choose to keep Him ahead of me, my choices will be strengthened.