Thoughts are like children. Left to themselves, they soon get into trouble. Children tend to wander off, to let their curiosity take them places they don’t need to be, to get into things they shouldn’t. Isn’t the mind the same way? When the mind wanders, it often ends up where it shouldn’t. It needs constant supervision. It needs to be curbed, restrained, and guided. It needs to regularly hear the Word of God to keep it from wandering.
Evil deeds come from evil thoughts, and evil thoughts come from an undisciplined mind. The only real control for the mind is the Bible. The Bible is like the leash some parents attach to their children at parks and zoos to keep them from getting too far away. The Bible is our anchor that keeps us from drifting at sea.
Our minds rarely stay on one thing for very long. Some are better at concentrating than others, but every mind jumps from one thought to another.
Few children know how to make good use of their time. The mind is the same way, even in adults. Children need to be kept busy to keep them out of trouble. The mind needs to stay busy meditating about good things. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop—or his playground.
Work is good for us for many reasons. One of these is that it keeps our minds from wandering into useless and sinful thoughts. But even at work our minds need to be disciplined. How many times do bosses see workers whose minds are not on their job?
Someone might say it is good to let the mind wander. After all, this is how new ideas are found. Yes, the imagination can do great good when it is given some room to wander from familiar ground. Every invention from the light bulb to the Internet came as a result of minds straying from the beaten path. Children themselves need some room to explore. But there is danger if they are not supervised. It is one thing to let them be free to wander in the house or on the farm; it another thing to let them wander downtown.
Even in worship when the Word of Almighty God is read minds drift. How much more do they drift when they are not in worship and not hearing the Bible? How much more do their imaginations run loose when the Word of God is not preached from the pulpit in its power and simplicity?
The mind left to itself easily wanders into lust, envy, self-pity, bitterness, hate, greed, and many other selfish thoughts. It needs supervision:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Col. 3:16)
“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa. 119:11)
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23)