Our minds can store about a hundred trillion facts and yet most of us only think about ten thousand thoughts a day. That’s about three and a half million a year and we only use about ten percent of our minds ever. Our mind is a special gift from God.
How do we stay mentally fit so that we’re alert and bright so that all of our lives we can make the most of this gift that God has given to us — our mind?
Guard your mind. Control what you allow into your mind. As they say in the computer industry: “Garbage in, Garbage out.”
2 Corinthians 10: 5 says, “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
We must guard our minds from material like poison (pornography, witchcraft, trashy novels or movies, etc.).
Romans 16:19 says, “Be wise (excellent) in what is good, and simple (innocent) concerning evil.”
I read before that the average television is on seven hours and seven minutes a day in the average home. If you’re an average person, you watch about 1000 hours of TV a year. That means if you live to be 65, you will amass nine and a half solid years of TV viewing.
On the other hand, if you went to Bible study — Sunday School — every Sunday of your life from day 0 to day 65 that would only equal four and a half months of Bible teaching.
We also must guard our mind from “stuffing”. These are things that are not necessarily bad for us but they are not necessary.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “”Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is constructive.”
What we must allow into our minds are things that we call “brain food” (things that inspire you, teach you, help you grow, teach you a skill, make you a better person) and, of course, the Word of God.
Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
We have to realize that we have to decide what we’re going to fill our minds with because it’s going to come out of our lives.
Also, if you want to be a mentally fit person you must have a “never-stop-learning” attitude. You must be open to new ideas, humble (teachable) and enthusiastic. If you want to be mentally fit you wake up in the morning with the attitude, “Lord, teach me something new today. Help me to be mentally alert. Lord, I realize that there are some tremendous experiences in life that You’re going to create and design just for me today. Help me to learn from those things.”
Some practical things to do are:
1. Schedule some time to think each week. Sit down, get alone, get quiet, and think. A lot of times we’re just too busy to think. But if you’re a leader — in your home, business, if you have that responsibility, you ought to be spending a minimum of ten percent of your time thinking about your job. Not working at it, but thinking about it — how to do it better, ways to improve.
2. Develop a personal reading plan. Even the apostle Paul continued to read in prison. Paul was making the most of his time. He was a bookaholic. We must also do likewise.
2 Timothy 4:13 “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come — and the books, especially the parchments.”
3. Spend time with wise people.
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.”
There’s the power of association. You can’t fly with the eagles if you’re going to run with the turkeys. You’ve got to get next to people who will build you up, who know about the things that you want to know about.
4. Learn to ask the right questions.
Proverbs 20:5 “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
In the heart of everybody there’s something you can learn, there are some insights you can use because we’ve all had different experiences. A lot of times they’re not there on the surface, you have to draw them out — like drawing water out of a well. How do you draw people out? How do you draw the insights you could use out of people? Ask questions. It’s a wise thing to do.
5. Write down your ideas. The U.S. Air Force did a study and they discovered that we forget 90-95% of everything we hear within 72 hours. Taking notes can help reduce that percentage. The only way you can continually keep growing is to write things down, take notes, so you don’t keep forgetting it.
6. Take advantage of opportunities. There are times that you’re driving to and from work, times when you’re getting ready in the morning, when you’re waiting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, when you’re exercising — when you’re awake and alert but your mind is not in gear. You could memorize scripture. Make use of conference calls if possible. If you’re sitting in an office, carry a paperback book with you. Use those spare minutes, snatch those fragments of time, make use of them. Read a book. Listen to tapes. Take advantage of the time to keep alert. Don’t just sit back, come home at night, flip on the tv and put your mind in neutral and listen to or watch the TV.
God, when He gave us our minds, gave us one of our greatest gifts. We are responsible to use it and develop it and keep it sharp. It is literally limitless in what we can do if we’ll simply begin to use it and develop it and begin to think. Everything, including how God wants to transform us begins in the mind.
Romans 12: 2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”