I have told this to my kids for years.
It typically is said right along with “Just cause you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Of course, I usually get the eye roll, the “Yeah, yeah, I know”, or “Whatever, Mom”.
Most of the time, I’m referring to some movie filled with extreme violence or horrible language or music that is sexually suggestive or a youtube video showcasing someone’s humiliation.
The whole point is that if we fill our heads and ears and eyes with garbage it becomes a part of who we are and comes out through our mouths and our thoughts and even our actions. It doesn’t mean if you watch a movie where someone robs a convenience store, you are going to go out and do the same. It just means if we inundate our minds with negativity, unpure thoughts, demeaning behaviors, etc. it will eventually change how we look at things and how we treat other people.
“…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in him.” Matthew 12:34-35
I was recently reading Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker (this woman is hilariously insightful!). The devotion that day was about filling our hearts with goodness so that we can be better mothers, but I think it speaks to each of us regardless if we have children.
“Motherhood is like a pitcher with a hole in the bottom: a constant drain on our energy, patience, and tolerance… Our only hope to speak with kindness, to lead with patience, and to not threaten our children with homicide is to ensure that our spiritual reserves are not bone-dry. Moms are the middle of the flow chart; the arrows of exertion flow constantly out from us, but when no arrows of strength, grace and peace are flowing in, the whole mechanism is in danger.” p. 36
I realized I was missing a piece of the point I’ve been trying to teach my kids.
There is a flip side to “garbage in, garbage out”.
While we need to be keeping the garbage out, we also need to be filling our hearts with goodness, so that we can share that goodness with those around us…
Noticing the person behind you has fewer items and letting them check out before you…
calling a friend just to see how their day is going instead of to ask for a favor…
waiting to hold the door open for a slow moving elderly lady when you are already running late…
speaking kindly to someone who was only rude to you…
These are all actions that speak out from the goodness in our hearts.
We fill our hearts with goodness by spending time with God and in His word, daily.
Taking even brief moments to rest in Him and with Him, talking to Him, and listening to Him.
I guarantee it will change how you feel physically and emotionally, how you handle the rough spots at home or at work, and it will change how you relate to each person that walks into your life, even if they are only there for a moment.
Because that small moment they experience goodness might be the one glimpse they see of Jesus.
Garbage in, garbage out.
But we can’t ignore the flip side.
Goodness in, goodness out.
Living thru faith,