In the early days of the computer era, GIGO was a word we heard a lot. It stands for garbage in, garbage out. In computer science, it is the concept that if we input flawed data, the output will be flawed as well.
This principle is true for us humans too. We want to lead productive and joyful lives filled with happiness but seem unmindful that they depend on what we feed ourselves. And I’m not talking about pork chops or pasta, but what we ingest with our senses. The TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, and the company we keep will all determine what we think and how we feel. It is like programming a computer.
If we feed ourselves on a steady diet of violent movies, hate-filled music, erotic literature and surround ourselves with people who don’t have a positive and healthy spirit, we are programming our minds and hearts with negativity. Only negativity can result, and some of us are incredibly negative people.
If we want to gauge our level of negativity, we just need to pay attention to the things we say. Jesus said, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). Do we speak words that give life: encouraging, affirming, appreciative? Or do we say words that take life: bitter, critical, condemning?
God has given us a heart like his, capable of great kindness and immense love, but unfortunately, we seem incapable of either because of what we have fed into us. But we can change it. The apostle Paul advised: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Paul suggested reprogramming the mind, and it is easily done by changing what we feed it. Instead of feeding it with garbage, we feed it with healthy and nourishing food. There is perhaps no food more wholesome than the bread of life, which is the Word of God, but when we feel like snacking, there are plenty of good movies we can watch, books we can read, and music we can listen to. Ditto for the company we keep.
So, dear friend, feed yourself with good and godly things, and see the good and godly things that come out of you. It will be GIGO with a difference!