That Dumb Computer!
It happens to me almost every day. I’m working on my computer, tapping away at the keys, and clicking with my mouse, when suddenly, “Whoa! That’s NOT what I wanted!”
Sometimes a line I want in bold print ends up in italics; at other times a whole page of writing disappears.
Why don’t computers do what we want them to do instead of doing what we tell them to do?
It’s because all computers are dumb. They process data, but they can’t think. They can only process the information and instructions we put into them. If we put in good information, we will get good results. The opposite is true as well.
GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) was the first acronym I learned when I first started using a computer way back in the 1970s. It’s still true. And not just for our electronic computers.
It is just as true for that biologic computer inside our heads. It too is dumb, and can’t think for itself. All it can do is respond to what information we put into it.
Programming the Computer in Our Head
We may not like computers. Some of us may not even own a computer, like a guy I know who still uses a cell phone with a rotary dial, but we can’t get away from the computer between our ears.
The apostle Paul, way back, two-thousand years ago, gave some excellent advice about programming our minds. “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
- True: nothing false, unreal, lies
- Noble: nothing indecent, shameful
- Right: nothing wrong, inaccurate, incorrect
- Pure: nothing lustful, polluted, unchaste, tainted
- Lovely: nothing unattractive to God
- Admirable: nothing despicable, worthless
- Excellent: nothing poor, cheap, common
- Praiseworthy: nothing that deserves criticism, unworthy.
Telling Ourselves the Truth
We input data by what we tell ourselves. If we tell ourselves something that is true, like, “God loves me unconditionally,” we are going to end up feeling positive about our relationship with Him and ready to face whatever the day holds.
But if we tell ourselves something that is false, like, “God has turned His back on me,” we will end up feeling hopeless and make decisions that take us from bad to worse.
It’s not only what we tell ourselves that is data for our computer, but what we expose ourselves to when we hang out with friends, when we attend church or watch television, or movies, read books or magazines, or visit websites. All these furnish impressions that feed into our dumb mental computer, and we end up thinking about them.
The dumb computer inside our heads will process those Thoughts and turn them into Words that we repeat to ourselves. Those Words develops into Actions, and our Actions tend to become Habits. Habits develop into Character, and Character determines our Destiny.
My Morning Habit
We tend to become what we think about all day long. That is why, as a long-time habit, I take time every morning to program my brain. I divided my life into seven areas: Spiritual, Physical, Marriage and Family, Personal Development, Ministry, Social, and Financial. Then I wrote down a couple of affirmations of biblical truth about each one, as well as a goal that I can visualize myself attaining.
Each morning, as part of my meditation and prayer time, I read through these facts about myself and see myself attaining the goals. This sets my mental computer on a course to positive, wholesome thoughts, words, actions, habits, character, and destiny.
What kind of data are you putting into that computer in your head?