Garbage In, Garbage Out

This phrase is the only thing I remember from my senior computer class I took back in the technological dark ages (early ’80s).   GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) is a common acronym in the computer science and mathematics worlds; it refers to the concept that the quality of the output is determined by the quality of the input. In other words, bad input (garbage in) leads to bad output (garbage out).

As a doctor, I have seen this principle played out in physical bodies.  If a person eats a lot of junk food, his body does not function as well or as effectively.  He ends up having symptoms, side effects, and illnesses as a result of this “garbage in”.   If a person smokes, uses drugs, or misuses alcohol, his “operating system” (body) will malfunction.   If a person fails to “shut down” and “recharge” regularly by getting the sleep and rest he needs, he will not be as effective in his ability to work and function.

I have also observed the concept of “garbage in, garbage out” to be true in the realm of the mind.  Controlling the input into our minds helps us stay healthy mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The reality is our minds work according to the GIGO principle. The kinds of things we watch, read, listen to and think about will affect the way we talk, feel and live. And when it comes to programming our minds, the simple truth is that if we put garbage in, we will get garbage out. If the television and movies we are watching and the magazines we are reading and the music we are listening to are communicating messages that don’t line up with God’s message, it won’t be long before those ideas are spilling right out of our mouths…If we commit to programming our minds with “good stuff” and if the messages we are sending our brains reflect God’s heart, it won’t be long before the fruits of God’s spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control will begin outputting into our lives. Erin Davis

“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6, NLT

“Don’t copy the behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” Romans 12:2, NLT

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2 Responses to Garbage In, Garbage Out

  1. Nuha says:

    This applies for friends as well, this is why we should really be careful to whom we become friends with, especially our children friends.


    • ahschupp says:

      yes, that is so true. We call those friends of our kids “toxic friends”. Our kids often don’t recognize them for what they are until they are older and more mature. Thank you for your very appropriate comment! Love you!


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