Saturday, May 05, 2007

Good Thinking

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. ~ Proverbs 23:7a (NASB)

We are what we think about. If you are constantly thinking about how everyone is stupid but you there is little doubt that you will be an arrogant fiend. If you are always thinking about how the world has "cheated" then you will be a bitter person. If you are spending time thinking about how much so and so harmed you I think it is safe to say that you will be a hateful individual.

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. Those thoughts 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:

1. Profound Thoughts (whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right)
Profound thoughts are those thoughts which deal with the bigger issues of life. Thoughts about doctrine, what we believe, who God is, God's law, and the testimony surrounding Jesus are thoughts which we need to think about from time to time. One reason is that it will help us understand God's word better, because the Bible is what motivates these thoughts. A second reason is that it helps us to distinguish between the truth and Satan's lies. Thinking profound thoughts prepares us for the temptations we will face.

2. Precious Thoughts (whatever is pure, whatever is lovely)
Precious thoughts are those that deal with our memories and the love relationships we have in our lives. Thinking about these things changes our moods, for they deal with things that are close to our hearts. They help us remember what are really important in our lives. 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 I am cared for. Thinking precious thoughts keeps our hearts healthy.

3. Positive Thoughts (whatever is of good repute, excellence and worthy of praise)
Positive thoughts really deals with what we put into our minds, what we allow to generate the thoughts we have. If we fill our minds with movies, songs, TV shows, books, etc. that are dark in outlook 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 others and be a little 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 as it is, 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?

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