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Mind Control
Photo: W. Brookhouse
Usually the topic of mind control deals with scenarios of one person controlling another through what we might call mind games. But there is a very healthy form of mind control, and that is the control that we take of our own thinking. Granted, the best mind control happens when we put God in control of our thoughts. But we have some responsibility in what comes in and goes out of our minds.

Agatha Thrash, M.D. states, “The mind will always assume the level of the things that occupy it.” Wow, that's worth pondering a bit, isn't it? If it's true, it suggests that we can develop the brain to a higher level of operation by carefully choosing what occupies it. Whether or not we can actually alter our intelligence, we can certainly expand our knowledge and what we do with it. Think of the possibilities of learning, service, and even spiritual understanding that can be ours if we will set high standards of what occupies our minds. I'm very intrigued by Dr. Thrash's quote and have it posted in full view so that I can be reminded often of its power. But what are some practical ways that you and I can make sure that our minds are occupied with things that match the level at which we want them to perform?

Here are some starting places, perhaps:
  • Feed, water, and exercise the brain. The brain first needs to be healthy. Foods like flax seed that are rich in omega-3 are excellent food for the brain. At least eight glasses of water per day help the brain stay awake. Often headaches are the result of dehydration. Exercise the brain by doing word puzzles, games (non-video since video games work against frontal lobe function), creative arts and craft projects, Scripture memorization, and other activities requiring concentration.

  • Read, read, read. Reading in itself is a good activity for a healthy brain. But if we want to reach our goal of achieving a higher and higher level of operation of our minds, we will want to choose reading that stimulates real thought. There are endless categories of reading material that could aid in this endeavor, but a combination of Bible, history, biography, nature and other educational subjects keep our minds reaching for more and not less.

  • Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. No doubt, the best thing to occupy our minds if we are striving to seek higher levels of understanding is Jesus. Whether we are reading about Jesus, talking (and listening) to Jesus, asking about Jesus or hearing about Jesus, nothing will build our minds more effectively. Jesus encouraged learning through Scriptures, nature, and through history. He also demonstrated creative thinking through parables. And Jesus always kept focus on the future and moving ahead in faith and hope.
So, if the mind always assumes the level of the things that occupy it, we can choose to have minds that tiptoe through shallow waters by choosing shallow themes to occupy our minds. Or we can soar with eagles by occupying our minds with a growing supply of physical, mental, and spiritual fuel.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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