22 Dec A Christmas Perspective
Read Luke 2:1-21
Thought for the Day: The GIGO Principle!
In the early days of home computers, the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) gained popularity. Those of us who owned our first computer really didn’t understand how they worked. However, we soon discovered the power of GIGO. For instance, if we put wrong numbers into a spreadsheet, it really didn’t matter how quickly the spreadsheet would calculate a column of numbers. Just one wrong entry would mean that the total would be off. Simply put, the power of the computer could never make up for the mistakes of the one inputting the data!
The same principle is true in our spiritual lives. If we fill our minds with the wrong things (yes, we could call that garbage), we should never be surprised when our actions and thoughts reflect what we allow in. You see, just as the Bible teaches, the things we focus on shape our understanding of the world. This, in turn, influences our actions. For this reason, the Apostle Paul reminds us to, “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds.”
Every Christmas, we hear the story of Mary. She could have focused on fear or doubt. Think for a moment what young Mary was facing as an unmarried young woman in 1st Century Palestine. Instead of obsessing over her problems, she focused on all that was good. She thought of the angel’s message, how Joseph had stuck with her because of a dream, and about those shepherds who visited on the night Baby Jesus was born. “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Rather than letting any GARBAGE IN, Mary kept her mind focused on the goodness of God. If we wonder what we should focus on, let’s remember what the Apostle Paul told us to think of when he wrote his letter to the Philippians. He reminds us that, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Pastors Stan and David