Program Your Mind

Teaching of Virtue

Watch: On YouTube

Program Your Mind

Our intellect is an incredibly powerful gift from God. There is no limit to our learning. But because most of us are left to program our own mind in the ways of character, we’re on a quest for the good, without a clear path to get there.

St. John Bosco said, “If [we are] well educated [in virtue], we will have moral order. If not, vice and disorder will prevail.” Aristotle stated, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Of no surprise, a weak intellect in the principles of virtue, result in many of us getting misguided and lost along the way. We start chasing what we think is good by chasing what we believe will bring us happiness, such as friends, followers, appearance, possessions, but chasing worldly happiness only brings fleeting moments of pleasure, not sustained fulfillment. Life then feels like a crazy roller coaster of highs and lows. While some finally discover the path to fulfillment later in life, it’s not without much pain and regret.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a path, founded in Scripture and passed down by the wise—with Jesus himself, being the perfect example of how to walk it.

Scripture says, “Learning is a fountain of life to one who possesses it…” (Proverbs 16:22). To program your mind in the teachings of virtue—is to attain the key that opens the door to the path of a fruitful, faithful, and fulfilling life.

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Scroll down for the related scriptures, quotes, and lesson plan associated with this teaching.

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Related Scripture

“Learning is a fountain of life to one who possesses it.…” — Proverbs 16:22 (CPDV)

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” — Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge.,” — 2 Peter 1:5 (ESV)

"For the prudence of the [world] is death. But the prudence of the spirit is life and peace." — Romans 8:6 (CPDV)

“Learn where prudence is, where virtue is, where understanding is, so that you may know at the same time where long life and prosperity are, where the light of the eyes and peace are.” — ‭‭Baruch‬ ‭3:14 (CPDV)

“Possess wisdom, for it is better than gold. And acquire prudence, for it is more precious than silver.” ‭‭— Proverbs‬ ‭16:16‬ ‭(CPDV‬‬)

“Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and all the constellations. She is better than light itself, because night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom.” — The Wisdom of Solomon‬ ‭7‬:‭29‬-‭30‬ ‭(GNTD‬‬)

“An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” — Proverbs 18:15 (NRSV)

“...from your youth receive instruction, and then you will find wisdom, even to your grey hairs.” — Sirach‬ ‭6:18‬ ‭(CPDV‬‬)

“The beginning of wisdom is to obtain wisdom, and, with all that you possess, to acquire prudence.” — Proverbs 4:7 (CPDV)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of holiness is prudence.” — ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭(CPDV)

“Do you love justice? All the virtues are the result of Wisdom's work: justice and courage, self-control and understanding. Life can offer us nothing more valuable than these.” — ‭‭The Wisdom of Solomon‬ ‭8‬:‭7‬ ‭(GNTD‬‬)

“Wisdom takes care of those who look for her; she raises them to greatness. Loving her is loving life itself; rising early to look for her is pure joy. Anyone who obtains Wisdom will be greatly honoured. Wherever he goes, the Lord will bless him. Wisdom's servants are the servants of the Holy One, and the Lord loves everyone who loves her. Those who obey her will give sound judgements; those who pay attention to her have true security. Put your trust in Wisdom, and you will possess her and pass her on to your descendants. At first, Wisdom will lead you along difficult paths. She will make you so afraid that you will think you cannot go on. The discipline she demands will be tormenting, and she will put you to the test with her requirements until she trusts you completely. Then she will come to you with no delay, reveal her secrets to you, and make you happy. But if you go astray, she will abandon you and let you go to your own ruin.” — ‭‭Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)‬ ‭4:12-21‬ (GNBDK)

“ is different with the person who devotes himself to studying the Law of the Most High. He examines the wisdom of all the ancient writers and concerns himself with the prophecies. He memorizes the sayings of famous men and is a skilled interpreter of parables. He studies the hidden meaning of proverbs and is able to discuss the obscure points of parables. Great people call on him for his services, and he is seen in the company of rulers. He travels to foreign lands in his efforts to learn about human good and evil. It is his practice to get up early and pray aloud to the Lord his Creator, asking the Most High to forgive his sins. Then, if the great Lord is willing, he will be filled with understanding. He will pour out a stream of wise sayings, and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. He will have knowledge to share and good advice to give, as well as insight into the Lord's secrets. He will demonstrate his learning in what he teaches, and his pride will be in the Lord's Law and covenant. He will be widely praised for his wisdom, and it will never be lost, because people for generations to come will remember him. The Gentiles will talk about his wisdom, and he will be praised aloud in the assembly.” — ‭‭Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)‬ ‭39:1-10‬ (‭GNBDK)

Related Quotes

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ― Aristotle

“The purpose of education [in virtue] is to give to the body and to the soul all the beauty and all the perfection of which they are capable.” — Plato

“The mind is the pilot of the soul.” ― Socrates

“The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it's a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free.” — Charles R. Swindoll

“If the youth is well educated [in virtue], we will have moral order. If not, vice and disorder will prevail.” — St. John Bosco

“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.” — Plato

“Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.” ― Epicurus

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” — Lao Tzu

“If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“No man is born wise; but wisdom and virtue require a tutor; though we can easily learn to be vicious without a master.” — Seneca

“Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.” — Plato

“Education is not a thing apart from life—not a “system,” nor a philosophy; it is direct teaching how to live and how to work.” ― Booker T. Washington

“Intelligence plus character―that is the true goal of education.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“So much does the moral health depend upon the moral atmosphere that is breathed, and so great is the influence daily exercised by parents over their children by living a life before their eyes, that perhaps the best system of parental instruction might be summed up in these two words: ‘Improve thyself.’” — Samuel Smiles

“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Your call will become clear as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God's Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.” — Charles R. Swindoll

“The cultivation of the intellect is man's highest good and purest happiness” ― Aristotle

“Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind.” — Earl Nightingale

“All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If the mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?” — Buddha

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” — Socrates

“Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book.” — Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

“If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.” — Plato

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” — Confucius

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” ― Aristotle

“Whereas, our argument shows that the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already; and that just as the eye was unable to turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too the instrument of knowledge can only by the movement of the whole soul be turned from the world of becoming into that of being, and learn by degrees to endure the sight of being, and of the brightest and best of being, or in other words, of the good.” ― Plato

“Virtue depends partly upon training and partly upon practice; you must learn first, and then strengthen your learning by action.” — Seneca

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of programming your mind. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • In short, to program your mind means—what you put in, you get out. If you put garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out. If you put virtuous things in, you’re going to get virtuous things out. Sinful thoughts, sinful life. Virtuous thoughts, virtuous life. Therefore, to program your mind by putting in the Word of God, holy thoughts, the teachings of virtue, are all great ways to send yourself down the “good path” and unlock the Holy Spirit within you to work through you. If you spend more time studying the Bible, praying, learning about virtue…reading, watching, and listening to Christian-based content…what do you think will start to happen in your life?

  • How can you go about putting more virtuous content into your mind and less non-virtuous content? (In other words, how can you program your mind to be who God wills you to be?)

  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?

  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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