We’ve all heard the saying, “the monkey on your back.” It refers to a very burdensome nuisance that one has to deal with or just endure. It can be things such as a boss who micromanages everything, a bad habit that’s difficult to overcome, or even an addiction. Whatever it is, “the monkey on your back” is a heavy weight. It’s a burden. And that monkey isn’t a good thing. But there are another three monkeys –and they are very good. They’re gatekeepers and we can learn some valuable lessons from them. The three monkeys are the famous “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, and Speak No Evil” monkeys. They’ve been around for a long time, and they’re well known for their admonitions to guard the mind against the evils of this world and the world from the evils of our hearts.
As Christians, we know that, while we live in this world, we are not of this world (John 17:14). Our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). We are pilgrims here on earth (Hebrews 11:13). But do we live that way? There are times when we don’t think, speak, or act like citizens of God’s Kingdom. All too often we buy-into the ways of the world and we forget about the Kingdom, and sometimes even the King who rules and reigns.
Living for the King / Working in the Kingdom
Every Christian is part of the Kingdom of God on earth–the spiritual kingdom that is populated by all who belong to King Jesus. How do we live for our King? And how do we help build His Kingdom? It’s not easy because the kingdom of this world “speaks” so loudly and is so tempting. So how do we live without being influenced by the ways of this world? It’s a matter of keeping our focus clear and our direction straight. And it begins by protecting our minds. We must control what enters our minds because whatever enters our minds will eventually control our hearts and whatever controls our hearts will flow out of us through our words and actions.
Much of the information that enters our minds on a daily basis comes from worldly perspectives or a secular worldview. So it’s vitally important that we filter all information through God’s Word, evaluating everything against His will and His ways.
This is done by guarding the gates of our minds—the ear gate, the eye gate, and the mouth gate.
It should always be our goal to “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, and Speak No Evil.” We can learn a lot from these three little monkeys who for decades have proclaimed these truths:
These monkeys have been around for a long time (the book will tell you how long), but in our day there’s a fourth monkey and another gate that he must guard. In addition to the ear gate, eye gate, and mouth gate, can you guess what is the 21st-century gate? If you aren’t guarding this one, it will lead to serious trouble.
Find out the lessons from the four monkeys and how they teach God’s truth. If God can speak through a donkey…He can speak through a monkey!
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