Eve Arnold was a photo-journalist. She asked one question that really prompted me to 'look around' a bit in my own life. The question? "What do you hang on the walls of your mind?" A pretty 'probing' question if you ask me. The mind is a bit like a photo gallery - with all kinds of 'scenes' on display - we call them memories. We 'hang' them up so we can revisit them from time to time. I have some hanging in my mind that I somehow revisit, but I don't like what I see. I have others hanging that really bring me peace, hope, and great joy. Could it be possible that we might have a few things 'hanging' in our mind's gallery that we might not even know we have 'put up' for display within those 'walls'? Proverbs 14:30 tells us, "A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones." How many of us have 'runaway emotions'? It could be possible that the things we 'put on display' within our minds don't lead to a sound mind. In fact, they stimulate the condition of 'runaway' emotions'. It may be time to do a little 'gallery remodeling', my friends.
I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Philippians 4:8-9)
God gives us this instruction so we can have our mind's gallery filled with the right things - so that our emotions won't have those ugly memories to ponder repeatedly. Fill your minds and meditate - two very pointed instructions. To put something in means we have to take something out. I have a tendency to leave a cup of water by my chair throughout the day. Over time, it warms a bit, and it doesn't taste the same as the fresh water that comes from the refrigerator. In order to get that 'freshness' I desire, I don't just add water from the fridge to it. I empty it out, then refill it with the fresh water. Why? The old would 'taint' the taste of the new.
There are things on display within the gallery of our minds that have been there for way too long. We have held onto those 'images' of past hurts and sins, not really sure why, but we did. When we take a picture down that has been hanging for a long time in the same place, what might we see? An outline of where it hung! Even the image left an impression that remains! This is why God tells us to do more than just 'replace' the image - we are to meditate upon his goodness, righteousness, and grace. In other words, we 'repaint' the walls of our minds, so the 'impression' of the ugly image is totally removed, as well. We empty, God 'repaints', and then we hang up 'fresh images'.
Why do we hang photos? We want to remember - the image brings us some sense of enjoyment. If we have images hanging on the walls of our mind's gallery that 'recreate' a sense of anger, hurt, disappointment, shame, or any negative thought, it is time to 'take them down' and remove them completely from our 'gallery' while God helps us 'refresh' the walls to remove every impression left by those images. This is God's Gallery, and it is time that we display the things that reflect his grace and goodness. Just sayin!