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Right Thinking
In Australia, in 2007, the horse racing industry was literally closed down due to an outbreak of virulent horse influenza. Media trumpeted the impact on the economy, counting the losses. But nowhere were the saving to gamblers noted. Annually the gaming industry receives a revenue of some $17 billion dollars, for a country of just 21 million people. Yet it produces nothing, doesn’t increase overall wealth or manufacture any goods. Rather, it causes hardship for individuals and families. A few win at the expense of many. While wages are earned and people who perform well receive rewards, wanting what belongs to someone else is the result of envy and wrong thinking. And wrong thinking is the basis of all sin.

1. Which commandment regulates our thinking? Exodus 20:17

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

2. What was Paul’s secret that is the principle of this commandment? Philippians 4:11-13

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

The Results of Wrong Thinking

3. Where do wrong acts come from? Matthew 15:19

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”

4. What did Jesus say about selfishness? Luke 12:15

“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 

Greed is covetousness. Consulting psychologist Ross Stagner criticises the "buy now pay later" mentality: "Our affluent society grows more infantile day by day. I-want-it-now is characteristic of our bank robbers, muggers, embezzlers and kidnap-extortionists. Obey-that-impulse is a feature of rapists and murderers…  [To] the extent that opinion leaders endorse the philosophy of immediate, uninhibited gratification of impulse, they are helping to create the climate in which young people … demand--and seize—that same impulse gratification."

5. How does Paul define those who are greedy? What will they not inherit? Ephesians 5:5

“No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Guidelines for Right Thinking

6. What attitude should believers in Jesus have? Philippians 2:5-8

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

7. What does Paul counsel us to think about? Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

8. What should guide our behavior?  James 2:12

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.”

9. How should we treat others? Philippians 2:3-4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Hope for Lost Sinners

10. While the Bible says no one is righteous (Romans 3:10), what did Jesus do for lost sinners? Romans 5:8

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

11. What does God want to give us that isn’t our right to have and which we don’t deserve? Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Wages are earned, gifts are free. Have you accepted the God’s free gift? That’s right thinking!

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Bible Discovery by Errol Webster. Reprinted with permission by SIGNS. Biblebay © 2012, Westlake Village, CA.