Summary: An exhortation to be pure in our thought life.
Anyone who has been around computers knows the term GIGO, Garbage In, Garbage Out. A computer only does what it is told and while the computer gets the blame for any problems, the responsibility usually lies with the programmer. Most computer glitches are human glitches. A programmer saving space and misjudging the quality of his product caused the great Y2K scare.
The human brain is the greatest computer ever designed. It also relies upon programming in a sense. Conscience, talents, common sense, and gut instincts were programmed in at the factory. Parents and culture add social etiquette, science, and math skills.
What is tremendous about the brain is that after awhile, it starts programming itself. Data is fed to it and the brain determines how it will assimilate and use that data. It can either accept or reject programming from outside sources. It can enhance it or degrade it by its modifications. Computers cannot upgrade themselves, yet. Moreover, despite artificial intelligence science fiction they are no greater than their programmer is. Indeed no matter how advanced a brain becomes it cannot exceed the intelligence of its Creator.
The brain’s capabilities barring hardware problems is limited or expanded by the quality of data it receives. It can suffer from GIGO. Put in it hatred, unbelief, jealousy, lust, greed, etc and you will get garbage for output. Input faith, hope, charity, selflessness, contentment, etc and you will get high quality output and a computer functioning without the normal parameters of its Creator.
Many times Christians see garbage output in their lives and they blame the devil, the world, the flesh, or something else. Sometimes it is due to poor assimilation or compilation of the data received, but more often than not, it is that they have been putting garbage data in and they can only get garbage out.
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. KJV
Behold what manner of input we are to be receiving. Many Christians can quote this passage, but do they really understand that it is a core or kernel truth to their proper functioning? If we are not placing these kinds of thoughts in our mind and heart, we are not going to see the output desired by God or ourselves.
If we live for the gossip TV shows and frequent movies and web sites that do not give us input within the parameters of Phil 4:8, we will get corrupted files and heart or kernel errors. This will manifest itself in Bold Signs Of Disobedience or Bad Sessions Of Depression (BSOD). We will have no peace and our lives will be fragmented with lost sectors of fruitfulness and joy. Obedience will defragment us and restore to us lost sectors or years of service to the Programmer.
Brethren, let us strive to filter our data through the parameters of this verse and instead of Garbage In and Garbage Out we will experience Godliness In and Godliness Out.