For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Our thoughts determine the direction of our lives. If you are constantly thinking about how everyone is stupid but you, there is little doubt that you will be perceived as an arrogant fiend. If you are always thinking about how the world has “cheated,” then you will become a bitter person. If you are spending time thinking about how badly a certain person hurt you, I think it is safe to say that you will be a person with trust issues.
What we choose to think about affect our moods and our actions. A person cannot spend hours watching “sexy” movies without it playing a part of what he/she thinks about. The thoughts of our minds will eventually be played out in their actions, one way or another. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Jesus said; “You have heard that it was said, ‘shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28; NASB).
Murder is an extension of the hate we have stored up in our hearts through our constant thinking hateful thoughts. Adultery is the result of lustful thoughts that have been fantasized about in our hearts. When we are not careful about our thoughts; they eventually become actions.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is and excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8; NASB).
There are three types of thoughts we need to have in our lives:
- Profound Thoughts (whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right). Profound thoughts are those thoughts which deal with the bigger issues of life. These thoughts are thoughts that are concerned with issues of doctrine, theology, and worldview. They are the thoughts are the foundation for what we believe and how we see the world. The fuel for these thoughts is the Bible. We need to spend time in Scripture, not just reading the words on the page, but meditating on the truth that is written on the page.
- Precious Thoughts (whatever is pure, whatever is lovely). Precious thoughts are those thoughts that deal with our memories, especially those memories that surround the relationships of our lives. Thinking about our loved ones have the ability to change our moods, for they are close to our hearts. They help us put our lives into perspective. When I remember the good times of the past, I am reminded that the bad times of the present are only temporary. When I think about the loved ones in my life I remember that I am not alone and that there are people in this world who love me. Thinking precious thoughts keeps our hearts healthy.
- Positive Thoughts (whatever is of good repute, excellence and worthy of praise). Positive thoughts are those things that we put into our minds. These are are the ideas, the images, the philosophies, and the music that influences our thoughts. If we fill our minds with movies, songs, TV shows, books, etc. that are dark then we will develop a dreary view of life. If we fill our minds with violence and gore we will become desensitized to the suffering of those around us and become more aggressive in our behavior. If we fill our thoughts with hope and love then our lives will be filled with those same things. It is so crucial that we monitor what we allow into our minds. Life is negative enough, so we need to be more intentional about filling our thoughts with things that are positive. Positive thoughts brighten the outlook we have of life.
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fill his heart” (Luke 6:45; NASB).
Ultimately the person we are is determined by what we spending our time thinking about. What are you thinking about?
Questions to consider:
- Why are the quality of our thoughts so important?
- In what ways have you noticed the effect your thoughts have on your life?
- How can you change your thoughts?