It is easy to believe that our thoughts don’t matter much; to put more importance on words and deeds. But Tommy Newberry points out on Day 10 of 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life that, “Minute by minute, hour by hour, in the hidden workshop of your mind, you are constructing thoughts of good or evil, joy or depression, success or failure. You are writing your own life story with each subtle thought you think.”
Yikes! The Bible backs this idea up with Scripture. Jesus told the Pharisees that it was their thoughts and attitudes that made them unclean. “It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart” (Mark 7:15, NLT). Proverbs 27:7 (KJV) warns not to fall for the greedy host’s encouragement to eat up because, “as he thinketh in is heart, so is he.” Neuroscience has been able to confirm that every thought sends electrical and chemical signals throughout your brain, ultimately affecting each cell in your body. Thoughts influence all your bodily functions. (Newberry, p. 55).
James Allen, in his classic book, As a Man Thinketh (1903), penned, “Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Man imagines that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit and habit solidifies into circumstances.” He goes on to point out that this can go either way. Impure thoughts create a wretched life. Pure thoughts create a life of beauty. Again, Jesus concurs with this assessment when he stated in Matthew 7:18 (NLT), “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.”
Newberry asserts that, “A dream, a business, or a marriage dies first in the mind. Your best and worst decisions began with an individual thought.” What you think about you talk about, what you talk about becomes action. What you do results in your circumstances for better or worse. The author goes on to say, “your thoughts are incrementally shaping your destiny here on earth.” He adds that people try to change their circumstances including health, marriage, finances, and addictions, when they should be asking God to help them remake their minds. Once our thoughts line up with God and His word, our circumstances take care of themselves. As stated in Romans 12:2, once you let God change the way you think, “you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
The drill for today is to make a list of up to eight positive affirmations that reflect the kind of person you are determined to become all beginning with the words I am. To go the extra mile, brainstorm at least eight ways you could improve your thinking over the next forty days.
I am not going to share my entire list, but I will share one:
- I am loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, humble and self-controlled.
These are the fruits of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22. All these characteristics come as a result of letting the Holy Spirit take control of my heart and my mind. I’ll be coming up with some ways to actively do just that!
Where are your current thoughts taking you? Is that where you want to go?