The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

We Become What We Behold

Posted on: June 02, 2015



Every moment of every day, something in our soul is being fed and something is being starved. What we feed grows. What we starve shrinks. As a result, we inevitably become what we let into our minds and what we think about. This long-observed reality caused 19th-Century English poet William Blake to write, “We become what we behold.”

This is verified by modern neurological research. We now know that each time we think a thought, it travels along a specific pathway in the brain to various destinations in the brain.

The more often we think a thought, the more often it travels the same pathway, and eventually, the deeper the path that is worn in the brain as we think the thought over and over. The result is that the more often we think something, the more it will affect

  • how we think
  • how we feel, and
  • how we behave.

So, in our conscious mind, we may be fully aware of the passage of Scripture that says, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) – a passage that should give us comfort and peace in the face of financial difficulties.

Yet, when we face financial crisis, we are often wracked with fear, anxiety, worry and distress, because of the values lodged in our subconscious mind through a lifetime of fearing financial ruin.

So, understanding that the more often thoughts travel along pathways in the brain, the more they affect our true attitudes, values and behavior, we need to use that fact to work for us rather than against us.

That is why Paul said in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (emphasis added)

As we consider how to grow spiritually, and how to help those we disciple, it is crucial that we factor in how we use our minds. It is not enough to read a passage of Scripture in the morning and then drag our minds through the mental mud the rest of the day. Neurological research confirms what Scripture teaches:

A dollar’s worth of unscriptural thinking

will overwhelm a dime’s worth of biblical thinking.

And we must be especially careful about the quality of media input, since pictures are so powerful.

One harmful picture can overwhelm a hundred helpful words.

The Bible speaks of being sanctified by the “washing of water with the word.” As we cleanse our mind by washing it with the water of the word, we reinforce the helpful and positive things in our lives – helping us become spiritually stronger.

We become what we behold in the Word.

If you know someone you think may find this blog valuable, please share it with them. I am always glad to hear from readers and you can write to me at I will not be able to reply to all emails, but I will answer some, and I may address in future blogs the questions/issues you raise.