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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Jan. 29, 2010 - Anti-Spyware for the Soul

By Randy Mantik

I have on my computer an anti-spyware program. It checks my computer for active components that are running behind the scenes, particularly when I’m on the Internet. These hidden programs — often, placed by online companies to get extra information on their customers — can tie up valuable system resources and make the computer run much slower. Spyware is usually put on computers without the user’s knowledge and can be damaging.

I got to thinking about how this anti-spyware program works. It looks for fingerprints of these “stowaway” programs. It detects them, and then allows me to quarantine them and delete them. Like spyware, the influences of our media, society, reading material, work environments and friends can leave us with unproductive and even dangerous processes running in our minds and hearts. The Word of God helps us to identify these processes.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). The Word can act as our “anti-spyware” and help us to identify and get rid of unproductive and harmful thought and life patterns.

The Spirit of God also helps us in this directly. Paul says in Romans 8:26,27: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

Many times we don’t even understand the harmfulness of a particular worldview coming through something we see or listen to. The harm coming from things like violence, pornography or profanity may appear obvious. But there are books, movies, magazines and TV shows that I’ve perused that have left me feeling empty. “Vapid” is the more descriptive word I use for them. They are completely empty of God or of any healthy thinking. There may be no overtly harmful material in them, but their way of looking at things tends to shift my focus away from the One who keeps my life on center. I must let the “anti-spyware program” of the Holy Spirit and the Word continually run checks in my heart and mind to keep me aware, keep me alert, keep me focused.

Other things that can help us to identify harmful thinking are Christian fellowship, a solid, Bible-preaching church (a good message coupled with time at an altar can shake you free of a lot of junk) and accountable living. Don’t live an emotionally and relationally isolated life. Allow one or two trusted people in whom you can be accountable to and who can be accountable to you. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.” We all need someone in our lives who can lovingly challenge us with the truth.

I still need help in these ways. I hate to admit it, but I need it constantly! We all do. God never meant for us to take this journey of faith alone. So let the Word, the Spirit and the ministry of fellow believers reformat your thinking to be constantly Christ honoring. Keep God’s “anti-spyware” operating in your soul.

— Randy Mantik is lead pastor at CrossPoint AG in Portage, Wis.

 

 

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