There is a hilarious scene in the old “Ghostbusters” film where the spectral Destroyer of all mankind will take the guise of whatever first pops into the mind of any of the Ghostbusters. So they all try to blank out their minds — only to hear that the form of the destroyer has been decided.
A quick check reveals that one of them let a thought into his mind. The Destroyer would take the form of a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Part of what makes that scene so funny to me is the knowledge that it is impossible to completely blank your mind. You cannot refuse to think.
Our minds are restless and amazing and always busy. Maybe that’s why the well-known proverb states, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” Just because the mind is always active doesn’t mean it is being used well.
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Iron rusts from disuse, water loses its purity from stagnation ... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”
French philosopher Rene Descartes said, “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” Our minds can either be used for good or for no good but not for nothing.
Think about the transformation of mind and body expressed by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:3: “Among (the sons of disobedience) we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
Left to themselves, our minds will frolic in the lusts of this world, resulting in God’s wrath upon us.
Find antidote in Jesus’ words
The only antidote is found in the words of Jesus from Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”
It is difficult work to capture our minds completely for God. The world has so much eye candy that distracts us from the purity of a godly mind.
If we indulge our fleshly desires, though, we will be like those discussed by Paul in Romans 1:28: “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. ...” That way leads to spiritual death (Romans 8:6-7).
In Titus 1:15 we learn the result of a focus on lusts and worldly desires. “But to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” Don’t let that happen to your precious mind.
The well-ordered mind continually looks above. In Colossians 3:2, we are instructed to, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
We must set them on Christ and His will. Only then can we defeat the Destroyer of all mankind — that dragon of old named Satan, Devil and Ruler of Darkness.
Keith Cormier is minister of Southside Church of Christ in Killeen.