I remember well an ad for the United Negro College Fund that regularly played when I was a kid which had for its slogan: “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” Images are yet etched in my memory of young blacks frustrated because they would not, due to a lack of finance, be able to attend college. I remember feeling sorry for them. I also remember not wanting to be one of them.
I was thinking how amid the dilemma of this hour, it’s so easy to waste our minds. Moreover, you don’t have to be young, impoverished, or black to do it. All we need do is allow Satan and his minions to spread and plant toxic seeds of doubt, fear, unbelief, confusion, misinformation, and sometimes downright ignorance. This is sad because the present hour is a golden opportunity for all of humanity, especially for the believers who comprise the church, to allow their minds to be molded into perfect alignment with the mind of Christ. But yet many, because of the adversary’s subtle deceptions, will dither their minds away, allowing themselves to be fed the appealing but poisonous pastries of the enemy. I’m just wondering how many times we need to ingest the endless cycles of the twenty-four-hour news bellowing out the constant increases in infections and deaths, or the lack of hospital beds and medical equipment. How many endless diatribes and rantings will we consume on Facebook and other social media platforms foisted by self-appointed, self-important, would-be experts, or so-called preachers and false prophets? How many more purported remedies and self-treatment lists will we jockey around to each other on Messenger, post on our social media pages, or text to each other; having no idea, in truth, of its origin or accuracy because we want to fix something that only God can fix? What are we feeding each other’s mind when we talk on the phone or converse in our homes, for that matter? You see, the devil capitalizes on the caustic mixture of our fears, idleness, and even our ailing bodies, to deaden our senses to the uplifting and healing virtues of godly thought—so he gets us to sit, gaze, and become lost in his thought world of negativity rather than to allow our minds to rest in the presence of our eternal Savior.
Let’s give our minds a break today and see if we can’t start a new practice of thought. I close by reminding you of these words of the apostle Paul: “From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.” (Phil. 4:8 CEB)
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.