What you expose yourself to

Christian Keysers has an article about “mirror neurons” in a book called What’s Next? Dispatches From the Future of Science. He’s a super-smart guy with a Ph.D. in neuroscience. In it he highlights findings about how our brains operate.

Do you ever feel happy when you see someone else laugh? Or hurt when someone’s in pain? Or how about feeling hungry when you see someone gobbling down your favourite snack?

A part of the reason we feel impacted in these ways is because of how our brains operate. What we take in through our senses impacts us. The neurons that fire in our own brains when we see and hear someone else laugh are the same ones that fire when we laugh. The mind and body have a way of knowing it’s not really us doing it, but the same neurons are working in us when we see those actions in others.

Think of the implications. When we see violence and negativity all the time, our brains are partially functioning as if we were participating in those things ourselves.

Alternatively, when we proactively expose ourselves to good and godly things, our brains fire as if we are participating in those things ourselves.

Keysers actually quotes Jesus in Matthew 7:12 when thinking through the implications: “do to others what you would have them do to you…” Our brains seem to be “intuitively predisposed… to this maxim,” Keysers writes.

Friends, think through how you fill your brain.

What you expose yourself to shapes you.

So choose well.

By Matthew Ruttan

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.


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