Prisons are designed to control people. They are the ultimate punishment in an attempt to bring someone under submission to the will of to society’s rules and regulations. Often in the Scriptures, a Biblical hero will find himself in jail.
Whether the punishment is justified or unjustified, there are two important things that no one can control in your life. They are
1. What we think, and
2. Who we worship.
While these two areas will determine a great deal about me, I am totally in control of both of them. No matter how dominate another person may be, he or she will never be able to totally control my thought life or before whom I bow as my God.
Much of how we think is determined by our past. Years ago, my friend, Jesse, and I were driving along the ocean. One condo was beautifully landscaped. I commented about the beautiful flowers and lush flora. Jesse and her husband had been the manger of a large condo complex for about five years. She looked at me as though I had lost mind. ”It looks a lot of work to me,” she said in an angry, almost resentful tone. Her job at the condo had been to keep the landscaping weeded and blooming. For me, the rich and colorful garden that surrounded the buildings were exquisite. For Jesse, they brought back long hours of never-ending work under the unrelenting Florida sun.
Yet, the past is not always an accurate predictor of outcomes. We have all heard of people who lived plush lives, handed every convenience who turn to passion or crime as a mere diversion. Yet, another man or woman will come from the most horrid circumstances. These mistreatments only serve to spur ahead the resolve of this person to live godly and holy lives of kindness, generosity and love.
At this point, I believe who we worship becomes a determining factor. If our worship is wrapped in the flimsy gauze of self-love, our thinking will be distorted and shallow. However, if we dig deep into the wells of true godly purity, our whole being will become reseviors of humility, honor and mercy. A good friend came from a distressful childhood. Unwanted and despised by her mother, she struggles today battling bouts of overwhelming depression. Nevertheless, this woman is a beacon of love and joy for all who know her because of her determination to overcome her deficiencies with a desperate love for Jesus.
What we think and who we worship becomes who we are. Who is your God? And what are your routine thoughts? How much would replacing godly thoughts change your life?