By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
We are constantly warned that we have to be careful what we eat. If we consume spoiled or poisonous food, it will have very adverse effects on us. When going into a foreign country you have to be careful about drinking the water. What we put into our bodies will determine how our bodies function.
The same is true of our minds. What goes in determines our actions. You can’t put in bad things and expect good things to come out. Our minds are like a computer – garbage in, garbage out.
We are the only ones who determine what goes into our minds. This makes guarding our minds very important. Recently Jim Denison referred to the following quote by Henri Nouwen: “Think of a medieval castle surrounded by a moat. The drawbridge is the only access to the interior of the castle.
The lord of the castle must have the power to decide when to draw the bridge and when to let it down. Without such power, he can become the victim of enemies, strangers, and wanderers. He will never feel at peace in his own castle.”
Apply this image of the drawbridge to your mind. You are the keeper of the drawbridge. You need to keep the drawbridge up when bitterness comes calling. All of us have adversities in life. We get mistreated. If you invite bitterness into your mind, you will become a bitter person who other people don’t enjoy – and you won’t enjoy yourself.
Negativity inevitably comes calling. Keep the drawbridge up. A negative outlook will always produce negative results. Whenever people say that something is impossible, practice selective deafness. Don’t listen to them.
Pride is constantly requesting entrance. The middle letter of pride is “I.” It creates an attitude where we think life focuses around ourselves. Sin also has “I” as the middle letter. Pride is an expression of sin. It is when we think we can replace God. When sin and pride call, keep the drawbridge up.
Fear will come calling. Fear will paralyze you. Fear will conjure up demons that don’t exist. Fear will make you feel totally inadequate to face a situation. The Bible speaks 365 times against fear – that is once for every day of the year that will help you keep the drawbridge up on fear.
There are some good visitors that will come calling. Put the drawbridge down for them. One is faith. Faith is the antithesis to fear. Faith means that we are going to follow what God desires for us. One of the best definitions of faith is “forsaking all, I take Him.” He is in charge of the future.
Hope will come calling. Put down the drawbridge. I love the lines in South Pacific where the young lady sings, “I’m stuck like a dope with a thing called hope, and I can’t get it out of my mind.” The most basic hope that we have is not in our individual achievement or our personal abilities, but in the fact that God created us and has a plan and purpose for our lives.
Love will come calling. Welcome love. Jesus taught that it is the way that we are to live – to love God and to love our fellowman. It is the universal language that everyone understands.
You are in charge of the drawbridge to your mind. Nobody else can operate it for you. What you allow to cross the drawbridge will greatly affect your quality of life and your effectiveness as a human being.
Guard carefully your drawbridge.
John Ed’s posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:email@example.com