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May 19, 2013

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”. – Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation).

“We don’t need no thought control” – Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (from the double album “The Wall”)

There’s nothing like a Christmas number 1 is there, to raise the spirits, and fill you with good cheer. Well Let me take you back to Christmas 1979, the last number one record of the 1970’s – The Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall Part 2. No festive fare here, but a song that worked for Sixth Form Ant on many levels. Those opening slightly contradictory words “we don’t need no education” struck a chord with a boy disillusioned with the grammar school and keen to move on. And then there was that guitar solo at the end, so underrated, but beautifully executed by David Gilmour, which still stands out for me.

But not only did we want the teacher to “leave those kids alone” but we are told that we don’t need no thought control. Whatever Roger Waters had in mind when he said that, the Apostle Paul would beg to differ, even if he might have enjoyed the guitar solo. Our thoughts do need to be controlled. But not by an educational system or political power, but by the Spirit of God.

The verse above in Romans reminds us that we can so easily become conformed to the pattern of the world, thinking the same as those around us, not being distinctive in our attitudes towards success, money, possessions, relationships, ambitions. But as Christians we are called to be distinctive.

To live distinctively starts with thinking distinctively. We can allow God to transform us, but he doesn’t start with what we do. He begins with our thoughts – changing our minds. The way we think then affects the people we are which in turn shows itself to the world in the things we do.

A lot of it has to do with what we allow to fill our minds. Like a computer, if we feed it with garbage then we’ll get garbage out. So the things we read, watch, listen to can make a difference. Negative influences will harm us. Fill your mind with good things and focus on Jesus.

Paul told the Philippians “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”


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