This coming Monday, August 6, 2018, we here in The Bahamas celebrate Emancipation Day, (Commonly known as August Monday) commemorating the abolishment of slavery in The Bahamas. While we as blacks have been freed from slavery for over a century, many of us are still enslaved by the way we think; we have a slave mentality, thinking that we are less than others, allowing others to treat us as slaves and thinking that we can never accomplish our personal dreams.
We must realize how powerful our thoughts are. Proverbs 23:7 states, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you think like a slave, you will act as a slave.
Our thoughts are indeed very powerful; they can determine the outcome of our lives. A quote by Frank Outlaw says, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Your destiny, what you become in life, grows from the seeds of your thoughts. What we think, we become.
Since our thoughts are so powerful, how can we emancipate our minds; how can we free our minds and change our way of thinking?
The term GIGO, Garbage in Garbage Out, is a computer terminology referring to the fact that the computer can only output what is input. The computer cannot control itself, it can only do what it is programmed to do, therefore if garbage is entered, garbage is what will exit. The same can be said about our minds, if we continually allow garbage to enter our brains, then garbage is what will exude from us in our thoughts, words and actions. We must therefore be careful what we allow to enter our minds. So how do thoughts enter our minds?
1. What we listen to
What we listen to has a great influence on our thoughts. We must be careful of the type of music we listen to or words expressed by family, friends or other persons we interact with.
Many songs, such as Rap music, have subliminal messages. Studies have shown that in some cases such as school shootings in the United States, when investigations are done, it is found that the culprits or persons accused of the crimes may have been acting out messages found in the lyrics of songs they were listening to.
We must also be careful of the type of persons we hang around and what we are hearing from them. Persons who constantly hang around people who curse and use obscene language soon begin doing so themselves.
Some people are also very negative. They are always complaining about everything or doing all in their power to discourage or bring others down. We must be aware of such people and be careful of the advice we take from them. If we constantly hang around negative people, our minds can easily be saturated by their negative talks and we may begin to think as they do. We must therefore listen to positive things; be it gospel or some secular music, inspirational messages such as from Pastors or Motivational Speakers and associate with positive friends who can inspire us to think positively and have better attitudes. Always keep in mind, though, that we must always be wise and have a ‘spirit of discernment’, meaning that in listening to even persons believed to be positive, there may be some things that we may have to think on or research for ourselves before readily accepting.
2. What we read
What we read is another way that thoughts enter our minds and it also has a great influence on our thoughts. We should therefore make an effort to read more inspirational and educational books, remembering that knowledge is indeed power. The more we read, the more knowledge we obtain and therefore we should begin to think differently. We should aim to read at least one inspirational book a month. The Bible, the book that teaches us all how to live, should of course be on our list of daily reading, memorizing scripture verses, so that we can apply them to our lives.
3. What we watch
What we watch also causes certain thoughts to penetrate our minds. We must be careful of how much garbage gets into our minds through extremely violent movies or pornographic movies. We should therefore also watch inspirational movies, talk shows or documentaries or religious programs via television; positive things that can have a positive impact on our thoughts.
We have the power to control our thoughts, thus controlling our attitudes and the outcome of our lives by implementing some of the above.
Philippians 4:8 states, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
As you celebrate this Emancipation Day holiday, take some time to do a self-evaluation; how free are you? Do others to control you? Do you think of yourself as being less than others? Emancipate your mind by being careful of what you allow to penetrate it in what you listen to, what you read and what you watch. Your thoughts are indeed powerful, make them positive ones!
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