GIGO for Christians

There is an old computer acronym called GIGO, which stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. It means no matter how good the computer program is, if you feed it the wrong data, you will get the wrong answer.

The GIGO principle works in our lives too. If we feed our minds and our hearts with “input” from a mixed up, self-centered world, we will end up thinking, feeling, and acting just as mixed up too. We wonder why we see so many young people getting in trouble, so many people getting divorces, so many struggling with addictions, and yet we never stop to consider whether thousands of hours consuming television, movies, books, & music that falsely glorify God-rejecting values & behavior might have anything to do with it.

But we have the option of using an even more powerful principle: God In, Garbage Out. The power & presence of God is far greater than any garbage in our heart, and it is only a love for Him that can rid us of a love for the world. The 19th century Scottish pastor Thomas Chalmers taught this in his famous sermon titled The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. He wrote,

How impossible it were for the heart… to cast the world away from it; and thus reduce itself to a wilderness… the only way to dispossess it of an old affection, is by the expulsive power of a new one.

In other words, simply telling yourself, I won’t sin, I won’t do this or that which I know is wrong but I desire to do, is doomed to fail because the human heart HAS to desire, has to attach itself to something. You can’t simply tell a wrong desire to go away, you have to overpower and overwhelm that wrong desire with something infinitely more desirable— the love of Christ. God In, Garbage Out. It’s the only way to change from the inside out.

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