What Do You Feed Your Minds, Hearts, and Spirits?

What Do You Feed Your Minds, Hearts, and Spirits?

In the technology world there is a term many information technology (IT) experts use when explaining to customers when a program or system is not working well. The term is GIGO. GIGO is an acronym for the phrase "garbage in, garbage out." GIGO is a shortcut way of saying "it's not the computer that is malfunctioning" or "the computer is not the problem" -- but you are. Perhaps a kinder phrase is bad input, bad output. Yet, however it is identified, essentially the point is the computer is only responding to the commands you have given it.


Before the term GIGO was coined by IT experts, Jesus spoke of the concept when challenging the religious leaders to take a good look at a more alarming problem he identified when he said, "What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. (Matthew 15:11)"


In the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, we read about some religious leaders who were challenging and questioning Jesus about his disciples breaking the traditions of the elders, specifically not always doing "proper" ceremonial washing rituals before they ate. The religious leaders named the disciples actions of not following such traditions as being defilement.


Yet, Jesus redirects them to consider the actions of the disciples. Whether or not they followed washing rituals before putting food into their mouths was not what concerned him. What concerned him more was the ways people were not paying attention to what they put into their minds, hearts, and spirits. As he boldly says, "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?  But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart comes evil thoughts--murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them." Essentially Jesus was saying "garbage in, garbage out."


Most of us know how much better we feel when we fuel our bodies with good, healthy food. Yet, I wonder if we think about how much better we would feel if we were equally intentional about with what we fuel our minds, hearts and spirits. What are we reading and listening to? What do we spend our time thinking about and doing? Who are we choosing to spend time with and to influence us? If the input is bad, the output will be bad as well. Yet, if the input is good, the output will be good as well. Something to think about...

Blessings, Rev. Shana Johnson, Conference Minister