Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. [Proverbs 4:23 NCV]

In the Old Testament, the Levites acted as gatekeepers and opened and closed the temple doors every day and night. They directed worshippers to where they should go and how they should behave, they prohibited entry to anyone considered “unclean,” and protected the temple from anyone who might steal or desecrate it. The Levite gatekeepers were the Old Testament version of bouncers.

We no longer have gatekeepers guarding our churches but perhaps we could use a gatekeeper to protect our minds. Negative thoughts seem to sneak into our thinking like uninvited guests. Worse, when one negative thought appears, another one is sure to follow. Anger brings his pals animosity and resentment. When fear steals in, worry slips right in behind him. Then worry and fear invite their friends: doubt, regret and suspicion. Before we know it, bitterness and hatred have joined the party, along with envy and lust and their old friend guilt. Our minds are filled with undesirable and unwelcome callers and there’s no room left for any positive thinking.

If we had a bouncer for our thoughts, he’d have to be diligent and on duty 24/7. His job would be to turn away any undesirable thoughts and feelings. He’d have to maintain order and keep all of our thinking in line. If any negative or unclean thoughts managed to slink in, our bouncer would kick them out. He’d be on the lookout for hazards and steer us away from situations that could bring trouble or temptation. Actually, we do have a bouncer who will watch over our minds: the Holy Spirit. We just need to let Him do His job!

If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace. … But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. [Romans 8:6,9a (NCV)]