What Do You Dwell On?

I recently read an interesting article about the Stanford Psychiatrist’s findings and the direct correlation between the increased anger within our society and the Internet. The findings went further in depth, discussing the shortness of patience in our culture that’s become epidemic. In an attempt to test the validity of these findings, I reflected back on a few experiences I had.

When I was learning how to play the drum kit in Jr. High, I had an instructor who would constantly ask, “What will turn you into a great drummer?” At which I typically replied, “Practice.” I was too young to understand why that response was never sufficient for Mr. Wolf, who would correct me by saying, “Perfect practice develops perfect.”

His perfectionistic rants were always about us drummers spending more and more time with our sets. He wanted us to become so familiar with the position of each drum that when certain things happened musically, we would respond without thinking – Hitting the right drum in the right spot, to get the right sound at the right time. He wanted it to be second nature for us.

God stated something similar, “Meditate on my word both day and night.” The shear repetition of thinking over the scriptures and understanding how it fits into our life develops Godly perfection. This isn’t the type of perfection that puts us above others, but rather is the type that helps us to know what to say in the hour we need it, always showing grace to those around us.

During the Fourth of July festivities, I chatted with a woman whose husband had become very short tempered over the past year. His patience for others had greatly diminished and his sense of entitlement had risen higher than his wife and daughter could keep up with. His family and friends had all noted his increased narcissism in all areas of life.

When I asked about how things were going, she suggested that he talked in short Twitter type bytes. He also shared his web personification with the full expectation that people would see him as he determined, rather than who he really was.

I asked how much time he spent on the Internet and wasn’t surprised that the response was hours on a daily basis. It was clear to me that the continual instant gratification generated by the Internet had taken it’s toll on his life.

I then asked how often he read and meditated on the word of God. The response was sketchy at best, but I surmised it was less than an hour a month. It was no wonder that his life reflected what he fed himself.

Years ago, Pastor Schmidgall shared a story about a man down south who had problems with his two dogs fighting. One day a neighbor came by while the dogs were battling and asked, “Which one will win?” The man simply replied, “Whichever one I feed.”

Reflecting on my past experiences helped me to quickly understand why the Stanford Psychiatrist was able to draw the conclusions made, as we all become what we focus on or practice doing.

As for this dog, I’m going to feed on the wholesome and moral things in life:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Copyright 2011 By CJ Powers

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