Scripture for today: Eph. 5:4
Allow me to conduct a brief experiment. Please follow the instructions very carefully.
Stop, clear your mind, and whatever you do, do not think about a banana.
How did you do? Most likely, the first thing that popped into your mind was exactly what you did not want to think about — a banana.
Try again. But this time, stop, clear your mind, and think about an apple.
How did you do? If you immediately thought about an apple, congratulations! Guess what you did not think about? You did not think about a banana.
This experiment teaches us the importance of right thinking. As believers, we struggle with tempting, false, or worldly thoughts. We know these things are wrong, and we try to stop dwelling on them. But oftentimes, the more we try to stop thinking about something, the more those thoughts consume us.
The key is to replace wrong thinking with right thinking. Paul knew this principle, which is why he said in Eph. 5:4 to “let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” He did not just tell the Ephesians to stop thinking about crude things. He told them to start being thankful.
If you want to stop having bad thoughts, start having thankful ones. Then, you will not have time to think about bad things — like bananas.
Father, thank you for giving me so many good things to think about. Help me to fill my mind with what is right so that I have no room to think about what is wrong.
Matt Peek serves as pastor of First Baptist Church in Pelham and a member of the Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Committee.