By JaDonna Brattin
From my early childhood, I was easily captivated by people and things that appeared “beautiful” My imagination was fueled by fairy tales, beautiful princesses with tiaras, ballroom dancers with fancy dresses, ice skaters and, of course, Barbie. As I entered my teenage years I traded Barbie for Teen Magazine with pictures of stylish girls my age and advice on how to achieve their look and confidence. Oh!!! Let’s not forget the beauty pageants …if only I could walk in those high heels and sparkly evening gowns. But alas! Even though I did enter a couple of pageants, I was definitely NOT beauty queen material. I am sure the inability to balance gracefully in heels had nothing to do with it. LOL.
All these words and images I had hung on to were impressed deeply on my mind and heart. I developed an unrealistic standard for myself that I could not achieve. It was a standard that God never intended for me to reach for.
God blessed me with a momma and other godly women who continually planted His Word in me and modeled what women of God look like and how they behave. I eventually caught on to the fact that what they were teaching me was “what goes in is what will come out.”
My struggle with things of beauty came from what I filled my mind with. Your struggle might not be the same as mine. Perhaps you struggle with success or status. Or maybe you have a struggle that is secret or shameful. No matter what any one of us face, the remedy is the same. We have to evaluate what is filling our hearts and minds.
We are bombarded daily with enormous amounts of information. It comes at us from people, media and the lightning speed of technology. All of it is vying for our attention, saturating our lives and influencing our choices. I am so glad that God knew ahead of time and gave us His Word to live by.
Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Hmmm …kind of sounds like another way to say “what goes in is what will come out.”
We cannot always control what comes at us, but we can arm ourselves with God’s Word. When we take the time to fill our minds with His Truth we will recognize and be able to withstand those things that Satan would use to take our focus off our loving Heavenly Father and dishonor Him.
Romans 12:2 tells u,s “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” But how do we do that? That verse continues on by saying “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” That requires us to intentionally be IN His Word daily. The rest of that verse tells us what we gain: the ability “…to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We have an enemy who is continually working to deceive us and set our minds on ungodly things, but 2 Corinthians 10: 5 tells us, “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
So, in conclusion, if “what goes in is what will come out” then we better be feeding and filling our hearts and minds with the Word of God. On purpose. Deliberately. Intentionally. Not only will we be found pleasing in His sight, but what comes out in our words and actions will display God’s love to those around us.