Our Thoughts, Our War, Our Responsibility
Have you felt like your thoughts were coming with a great force that propelled you along? Have you done or said what you thought only to feel regret? Or sometimes do you feel bombarded with thoughts until you don’t know what to do? Well at one time or the other I this describes my thought experience. So much tell I thought I might be going out of my mind. The only comparison I can make is a runaway freight train going backward down a hill. Sooner than later, the railroad cars will jump the tracks and BOOM! But crashing doesn’t bother me as much as the sadness I feel for what my heart went through.
I would sit for long periods of time contemplating a plan to kill the guy that raped me. I discussed my desire for revenge with my counselor and she asked, “What did you decide? What is your plan?” I had to say nothing because I couldn’t think of a way to kill him that took away the desire to cause him pain. I don’t know if you will understand how I felt. Killing him wasn’t the problem. I never found a perfect and satisfying way to cause him pain.
Here is another example
My mom was a live-in maid for a family in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mom would leave on Tuesday mornings to go back to Cincinnati to work. I would cry when she would leave, but I didn’t understand why. After all, you don’t cry about someone you hate who is leaving you again. I had already settled this fact in my mind and heart, so I thought. Not only were the tears confusing, but the telephone calls I would make added to my confusion. Why would I call her at all let alone two or three times during the week? My uncle paid the phone bill, but before he did, he would read the phone bill to me and my aunt. He read the bill as if he was reading a book. Loud and word for word he proclaimed “to Cincinnati, to Cincinnati, from Cincinnati,” and on and on until the end. At some point, my aunt decided she would pay the phone bill. This would eliminate listening to my uncle read the phone bill.
The definition of thought
At this junction, we may want to define what is a ‘thought’?
At thought is an idea or opinion produced by thinking and can occur suddenly in the mind.
Scientists have studied the human thought process for a long time. Even though there are several studies, the University of Southern California concluded that the average person has about 48.6 thoughts per minute according to the Laboratory of Neuroimaging. That adds up to a total of 70,000 thoughts per day. Can you imagine having this type of activity going on in your mind? Reference.com
The crowded mind makes for an overcrowded heart
The Huffington Post published an article written by Bruce Davis, Ph.D. and he stated, “With all the thinking go[ing] on, what chance does our heart have to breathe, feel, and experience life, no less make contact with our significant others? The crowded mind makes for an overcrowded heart with little room for ourselves and less room for anyone else. When we live such a congested life, how open, available, and loving can we be?” Huffington Post.com
Another writer named Christina Fox included the term “overthinker” in her article entitled “Your Thoughts Will Betray You.” I’m guilty of overthinking, and you may see the overthinker in me in some of my writings. Especially in the paragraph above about revenge. My mind turned over and over with this plan, and that plan, until I had to recognize and accept that there would never be a plan good enough to satisfy or justify the ache in my soul or the hate living in my heart!
Fox went on to write, “We don’t have to listen to ourselves. Instead, we can talk back to ourselves. We can take our thoughts captive. We can speak the truth of God’s word to our hearts, for the word has the power to change and transform us.” Desiring God.org
John 17:17 (NASB) Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
The crowded mind and the overthinker thus; the WAR begins! But God knew!
God knew the WAR we would fight. God knew the pain and suffering we would render in our lives. He also knew our thoughts would distract our hearts and minds from Him and His plan for our lives. He had mercy. Because He knew He would judge us for the mindless thoughts we would have. He knew the evidence of thoughts and what we dwell on would materialize itself through the words of our mouths. Thus, He knew the meditation of our hearts would not always be acceptable in His sight.
God knew if we would embrace His word, then we had a way to correct our thinking. Thus, our hearts would change to be in harmony with His. The Bible is God’s FIX for our hearts and minds.
Here is an example. We receive updates for our computers and if we don’t process the updates we might not get the latest program data or a fix to bad data we received prior. The update makes a big difference in how the computer operates. The same way with God’s word once we update and apply in our lives.
God’s word fixes our faulty and sinful ways. Psalm 119:105 (KJV) says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. You and I have discovered our hearts need to be fixed. And we are faced with a decision. Do we repent and change direction back to God or do we stay as are?” Big decision! But if we chose the path to change, repent and start anew and we find all our answers through God’s word.
I’ve included scriptures, but you may want to search out scriptures that resonate with you. Just know we have the assurance that God made a way.
- Mark 7:20-23 (NIV) He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
- Matthew 12:35 (NIV) A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
- Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
- Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NASB) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but [b]divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
- Matthew 12:36 (NIV) Jesus said, But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
- Philippians 4:8(NASB) 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 any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Our thoughts deserve attention. You and I know how hard it is to align our thoughts with what God commands. But, I hope you see that this change is a heart living in harmony with God. The following will reinforce what I hope you grasped from this article.
Anytime we want to align our thinking with God’s word, THERE WILL BE WAR!
- Admit we need a change and invite God into the process. Psalm 139 is perfect for this invitation. Search for a scripture that calls to you.
- Journal about the situation that’s happening when the false thought crossed your mind. For instance, “I’m no good and will never be any good.” You and I know that is a lie from the pit of hell.
- Counter all bad thoughts with what God, like Philippians 4:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:5.
- Most of all, remember Matthew 12:36. Jesus said, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
Will you be ready to give an account for every empty (meaningless, valueless, senseless, insignificant, trifling, worthless) word you have spoken?
Let’s sum these verses up with what one writer wrote, “Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.” — Chinese proverb, Author unknown UKApologetics.net
Please find a version of the Bible that will make these verses come alive for you.
Philippians 4:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:5
Posted in: Darlene Speaking From the Heart, Helpful Resources