The eyes and ears have a lot to do with what develops in our heart. Here in Philippians 4, Paul is addressing what things are good to think on. But may I remind you that what you will spend time thinking about is influenced by what we allow into our mind? Unfortunately, many teens allow the ear and eye gates to go unguarded. If you allow yourself to “see” whatever is pleasing to them, then you will find yourself thinking of the wrong things. If you allow everything you “hear” to be things that appeal to the flesh, then your mind will dwell on the wrong thoughts. We could even go further and mention what we allow our hands to touch, our nose to smell, and our mouth to taste. But we’ll just look at these two detrimental “gates.”
If I desire for my thoughts to be pleasing to God, I must determine that I can only allow what enters in to be the things that will bring me closer to God. 100% of the time I’m listening to the wrong music, I’m allowing 100% of sin to dwell in my mind. 100% of the time I watch the wrong shows and movies at home, I’m allowing 100% of the devil to be at work on my brain. If you think you can eat the meat, and spit out the bones, you’re wrong. Because it’s guaranteed that what wrong we allow in, we will think on later. Those bad songs, wrong pictures, sinful actions are forever etched in our memory without escaping. What little sin we allow in is the same little sin we approve. My mind and yours can’t afford any more sin! So don’t let it in!
What can I listen to?
- Christ-honoring music. 10 times out of 10, heart issues, attitudes, and rebellion has a bad music trace somewhere along the line. Again, what we allow in will determine not only what we think, but what we do.
- Christ-honoring preaching. There’s nothing wrong with you getting some extra preaching. Sunday mornings only won’t do ya. We need preaching daily, whether it’s from God Himself in His Word, a preacher, Pastor, etc. Get yourself settled into not only listening to good Gospel music, but good Gospel and Bible preaching. Take time in your road trips to listen to strong preaching, not just music.
- Christ-honoring Advice. Some of my bestest of friends growing up as a teenager were 50+ years older than me, and were faithful to every service of church. If you would surround yourself with Godly people, they will have an affect on you in some sort of way. Who your friends are will determine your future. Always pray and look for the common denominators of what your preacher advises, your parents advise, and older influences advise. Notice I said “older,” not “the same age.” We many times go to friends for advice when they don’t know any more than we do. Go to someone who has been there and has experience in that area who follows the Lord.
What can I look at?
- My King James Bible. Without God’s Word as an influence in life, I’m disregarding the best advice available, and the very best thing I can lay my eyes on. My Bible is my guide for my daily walk as a Christian, giving me B.asic I.nstruction B.efore L.eaving E.arth. Without it, I have no communication from God. Keep your eyes on His Word, daily.
- The Back of my eye-lids. Prayer is detrimental to having a Christian mindset. God communicates thru His Word, I communicate with Him thru prayer. Keep your eyes on the Lord by the best two ways available – Bible-reading and prayer.
- God’s Blessings in my life. The possibilities are endless when we have our mind in the right place. Having the right music, the right preaching, the right advice, and consistency in reading my Bible and praying to God will place my mind and my thoughts on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. And when our thoughts are right, our intentions will be right. When our intentions are right, our actions will be right. When we are right with God, His blessings are soon to follow.
I’m not sure about you, but I want God’s Blessings. Having my mind and my thoughts in the right place will bring those blessings.
Nathan Pitts | Youth Pastor
Riverland Baptist Church