Mind Control

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of
your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their
needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Matthew 9:4 (NLT)
Why do you have such evil thoughts in your
hearts?
My
Bible has a huge arrow highlighting Ephesians 4:29 with a bold, all caps note “MY
GOSSIP SCRIPTURE”.  When I need
reminding, a quick flip through the New Testament does it.  I truly, truly try not to gossip.  I’m not perfect, but I just steer clear of
those conversations.  Is this good?  Absolutely! 
Is this enough?  Not by a long
shot, because what goes on in my head is a completely different story and just
as evil.  
Jesus raised
the bar of the Ten Commandments by saying the person who thought lustfully had already betrayed their spouse.  Jesus chastised the law abiding Pharisees for
being shiny clean on the outside but filthy on the inside.  Jesus cares more about our hearts and minds
than he does about appearances.  I think
Jesus’ example about lust is intended for all
the things we shouldn’t do.
I’m in
trouble!  You too?  How can we stop the not-so-Christian mental soundtrack?  Don’t be discouraged.  We’re human. 
We can’t do it alone.  Only the
Holy Spirit can transform our hearts so we look at others differently.  (We can help by changing our soundtrack to
play back God’s Word too.)  When we see
ourselves as undeserving recipients of God’s love and forgiveness, it’s then
possible to see God’s other imperfect children through His eyes – with undeserved,
unconditional love.
Transform
your heart first and you won’t have to worry about appearances. 

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