Summary: What we see in our minds is critical to our ability to walk in this life as Jesus did when He was on earth. But far too many of us allow "movies" to play that should be deleted.
An article in a recent USA Today reported that in an online survey of 1000 adults, “three-quarters of Americans believe the country was better off in the ‘80s than now.” What is noteworthy about the poll is that some who answered in the affirmative weren’t even alive during the 1980s.
Isn’t that interesting? How can someone, who is born three decades later, believe that their parents were better off 30 years ago than they are today? I believe the answer is really quite simple. Their parents and other adults shared stories about life in the 1980s – stories that created vivid and long-lasting images.
That’s why we often have such strong emotional responses to “movies” our minds create.
I want you to think about this from a scriptural standpoint.
Is it a coincidence that Jesus says in Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart?
Do you see the movie that has been playing in this man’s mind? Jesus says “In the kingdom of Heaven, where I come from, you are guilty of adultery when you allow that type of movie to play in your head.”
Get a hold of that ladies and gentlemen. The person who thinks about committing adultery is guilty before he actually commits the act. That goes against most of the popular teaching in the church.
So why do I use the word “movies” instead of “pictures”?
Our minds see the world as we experience it through our five senses. When we close our eyes, for example, we don’t see people as static and one dimensional. And we don’t see our surroundings as colorless do we? No. We see people as they are – animated – and our surroundings, as they are – colorful.
I want you to close your eyes. Remember the last time you drove near a bakery? Can you smell the aroma of freshly baked bread, rolls and pastries? Be careful now. I don’t want you jumping the curb! The smell was so captivating and inviting that it created a movie in your head. Go ahead. You can admit it!
Your eyes are still closed.
You see the baker taking the bread from the oven. He slowly wipes his hands on his apron. Oh, the bread – it’s so golden brown! You walk toward the table. The baker looks at you, nods his head and smiles. He softly says “Go ahead.”
So you take a knife and gently slice off an end piece. As you bite into the slightly crunchy treat, the sweetness explodes in your mouth and your taste buds go crazy! The next thing you know you’re sitting in the parking lot wiping saliva from the corners of your mouth! C’mon. You know I’m right.
You can open your eyes now.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what Jesus is describing in Matthew 5. The person who commits adultery has mentally undressed the woman, is in bed with her and in the process committing the sinful behavior – without removing a single stitch of clothing. This is why pornographic movies are in such demand, even among Christians. These type of movies create “movies” in the minds of those who are watching. Pornographic movies also create physical responses too.
This is the power of our imaginations. All movies that have the potential to impact your emotion will produce a physical response if you allow them to play uninterrupted.
In the first book of the Bible, God shows us just how powerful mental “movies” can be.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Now look at verse 6 of Genesis 3. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.”
Notice the words used to show how Eve responds to the “movie” Satan creates for her. Saw. Pleasant. Desired. All of the words have an emotional component.
In Genesis 6, God describes the source of the “movie” of depravity and evilness that reigned unchecked in the human race before the flood. Let’s read verse 5.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”