What controls your thinking?

Many recognize that the commercial media is a means of manipulation and base appeal, in order to persuade the consumer to think, act, and buy according to the subtlety (or not) of suggestion. (It’s ironic to see people talk so much about being independent using brand-name clothing, mass technology, and popular products.) Friends are another strong influence of opinion and conduct. In one way or another, something or someone will direct and control our thoughts.

The law of their God controls their thinking;
their feet do not slip.
Psalm 37.31 NET

The law or instruction is the truth revealed by God about himself and his work to restore us to his presence. The term indicates guidance. Without God’s instruction, we’d be lost.

The instruction controls thinking only when it is internalized (literally, “in the heart”). In antiquity, the heart also included the intellectual or mental part of the person.

God’s instruction controls the thinking process only when God becomes my God. The possessive adjective here, “his,” is important. The law is not something cold and disconnected, but an expression of the relationship (covenant) we have with God.

The result of such a control of thinking is not confined to the mind alone, but has an effect on conduct: “their feet do not slip.” The righteous do not err in the way, while they are guided by the divine teaching.

We can let any influence which appears control our thoughts (and the devil will choose some for us, to our ruin), or we can decide to immerse ourselves in God’s word, in order that his teaching might control our thoughts and bless us with love, peace, and joy.

The choice is ours. The result is not.


J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

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