Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission. (Arnold Bennett)
Bennett also reminds us "it is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is from the top" - something we'd do well to consider when we are just 'coasting through life'. We oftentimes take for granted the things we allow to 'penetrate' our minds, almost without any real thought to it at all. It is as though the process of things 'getting into our minds' can be a little 'passive' when we are not 'on guard' to keep out unwanted influences and misguided half-truths. Maybe the one thing we can do to 'guard' our minds seems a bit too easy, but in allowing the Word of God to begin to penetrate our minds more and more, we are actually 'setting up the guard'.
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Indeed, our thoughts dictate so many of our actions - both good and bad. Perhaps this is why we struggle with some of the things that seem to trip us up on more than on occasion - we have not given thought to what we allow to become 'resident' within our minds. As Bennett so aptly put it, we 'give permission' to some thoughts that have absolutely no right to be allowed into the inner sanctum of our minds. If our minds are a 'sacred enclosure', why can the 'wrong stuff' so easily find its way in? Simply put, we don't have any good defenses to keep them out!
I sometimes don't pay much attention to what I am watching on TV and almost without even noticing, I hear a bad word and it goes right past me. The next time the character has something go awry, he spouts the same bad word. After a handful of the expletives, I can almost anticipate the expletive every time something goes wrong for this TV character. Do I use those same expletives in my life when things go awry? They are not my first thought, but plant that seed long enough and it could very well become the first thought!
We need to 'think' about what we allow to enter our minds. I like to do crossword puzzles - it challenges me. I don't always have any clue what they are asking, but sometimes when I see the solution the next day in the paper, it is as though I should have known that. There are times when we might want to consider a thought, but we don't have a clue why we are considering it. Then the next time we look into the Word of God, we realize why we were considering that thought - good or bad, we find clarity as to the intention of those seed thoughts.
We will always find our actions beginning with some form of thought. Plant the right seeds and see them nourished to maturity if you want to consistently perform the right actions. Plant the wrong seeds, allowing them an inroad into the good soil of your mind, and you may just be needing to do a bit more 'weeding' than you desire. Just sayin!