Stop Thinking Wrong Thoughts!!!
Can you remember your mother’s response to something you did that was particularly dumb? “What were you thinking!” she’d ask in dismay. “How could you even think such a thing?” If she were like my mom, the next statement was, “Don’t you have a brain in your head?” Even though it was my “actions” that were in question, Mom knew that those actions were the direct result of what I had been thinking!
I grin, just remembering all the dumb stuff I tried as a kid, a teen… OK, an adult too. Sometimes it’s like a giant disconnect – wisdom vs. ‘I want’. It’s not like I don’t know any better. I do! (So do you.) We just don’t always act like it. And, like Mom knew, those actions are always preceded by our thoughts.
Think about it (no pun intended!). You can’t say or do anything unless you think it first. To fight the good fight of faith, remember this: Your mind is where the battle takes place. Somewhere between ‘I shouldn’t’ and ‘I want to’, is a miry, misty world of ‘maybe’. Maybe I’ll get away with it. Maybe no one will know. Maybe it won’t matter, just this once.
The thinking of foolishness is sin (Prov. 24:9). Foolish thinking is believing we can get away with something even though we know better. It is thinking, talking and acting opposite of God’s wisdom. O God, Thou knowest my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from Thee (Ps. 69:5).
Of course, we do know better. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). What we think eventually manifests in our words and actions, giving credence and power to the thoughts we think. As spirit beings, created in God’s image and likeness, our words have more power than the devil wants us to know. He tries mightily to keep us thinking and speaking negative words of all kinds.
Remember the old adage, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything”? Well, those words start with your thoughts! if you’re not thinking something good and positive, stop thinking it! Paul advised us to take ‘every thought’ captive until they become obedient to Christ – in other words, obedient to His commandment to love and edify one another. Let’s just run through a few of the thoughts in my head recently.
“I am so tired. I just can’t do this anymore.” There’s certainly nothing victorious in that thought, especially when I know God has given us victory (I Cor. 15:57). My mind follows that negative thought with I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). See, I know what God wants me to say, but my mind and body don’t want to. I can draw on the strength of Christ by speaking His Word, or I can succumb to the tiredness and look for an excuse to quit whatever it was I needed to do. Either way, my predominant thoughts will choose the outcome.
“Dang! That hurts. Every time I move, it just hurts so much!” I’m looking for another excuse to quit, of course. There’s a certain amount of wisdom in not pushing my body beyond its limits, but – and it’s a big BUT – God said, “I will restore health unto you and heal you of your wounds” (Jer. 30:17). I can either give in to the pain or fight back with thoughts and words of healing and deliverance.
Then there are the thoughts I think about others. “She/he is so stupid!” Or, “Wait till I tell you what so-and-so said yesterday!” You know the temptation it is to say something negative about someone else. And you know we’re not supposed to! Therefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another (I Tess. 5:11).
Society has become immune to swear words, sarcasm, complaining and meanness. If you don’t think so, watch a bit of television. Negativism is prevalent in the shows and the barrage of advertising. Apparently our collective sense of humor thrives on put-downs and stereotypes. And what the stations call ‘news’ is almost completely bad news.
I know it doesn’t seem like it, but all that negativity contributes to a lack of compassion and mercy for others. We’d rather whip out a stinging retort than say something nice. ‘Nice’ doesn’t get laughs, unfortunately. Don’t let your thoughts lead you into gossip and mean speaking. If thou… hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth (Prov. 30:32).
I’m not saying any of this is easy – it’s not. But the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12) requires me to grab hold (Timothy says ‘lay hold’) of eternal life and keep my confession in line with The Word. I can’t let my thoughts go astray because my words will follow and I refuse to give the devil any place in my life when I can avoid it.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, think on these things (Phil. 4:8) This admonition alone should stop all the gossip and back-biting that the world seems to thrive on. What you think or know may be ‘true’, but it’s probably not lovely or of good report. So it should not take up space in your thoughts and it definitely shouldn’t be repeated.
This world is word-created and world controlled. It started with “And God said” in Genesis. After He spoke, it ‘was’ – created by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). Jesus’ birth happened only after years of prophecy – calling things that be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17). But you can’t speak until and unless you’ve thought. So what you think has a profound impact on your life and circumstances.
If you want God’s Word to reign in your life, with all the benefits it brings, you must make up your mind to resist the devil when he comes to plant doubts and negative thoughts within you. Refuse to surrender to the circumstantial pressure he brings your way. Decide at the onset that you will not succumb to the trial, test or temptation. Dig your heels in and stand immovable upon the promises of God. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established (Prov. 16:3). Give diligence, Peter said. Watch what you think, for if ye do these things ye shall never fall (fail) (2 Peter 1:10).