by Yewande Olamiju
“What if my thoughts were projected on my forehead?” I’ve heard this statement, read it somewhere and thought about the same thing.
No one, but God sees, hears and knows my thoughts. My wicked thoughts are sins hardly talked about in Sunday sermons. These are the sins of the heart that no one sees and are hardly ever affected by ….until I open my mouth or act (or more appropriately react).
Jesus tells us again and again how important it is to keep diligent watch over our thoughts, what we think about.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Prov 4:23)
He confirmed that our speech and actions come from what we think about (Matt 12:34-35, Matt 15:19)
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matt 12:34 )
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matt 12:35)
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Matt 15:19)
Prov 6:19 says that a heart that plots and schemes evil is an abomination to God – this includes thoughts of revenge and getting even, thoughts of how your so-called enemy will be vanquished and put to shame and you vindicated, coming out with a clear name.
You may be thinking, “Can I choose my thoughts? Can I actually decide what I allow my mind to dwell on? I just can’t seem to control what thoughts come into my head. I’m on my knees praying and then bamm, I’m thinking of something else, nothing remotely near prayers. I’m in church listening to the word of God and a few moments later, I’m thinking of the outfit I’ll wear to church next Sunday, what I’ll cook for lunch, my rent that is due, the neighbour who didn’t respond when I said hello this morning or just how silly the woman’s hat in front of me is.”
We struggle every day with thoughts of revenge, getting even, envy, rage, jealousy, worry, anxiety, lust, ego, pride, self esteem, inferiority complex today, superiority complex tomorrow – just too many to mention.
You can’t stop birds flying over your head but you can stop them from making a nest on your head. Choose your thoughts = choose which thoughts you allow your mind dwell on. When your thoughts drift, rein them back in.
On your bus ride choose what your mind dwells on. When your thoughts drift during prayer time, rein them back in. When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart, remind yourself of God’s promises, meditate on them and refuse to dwell on fearful thoughts.
As soon as a thought comes that does not match Phil 4:8, throw it out by deliberately and consciously think of a thought that will be acceptable in God’s sight (Ps 19:14).
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil 4:8
Joyce Meyer, in her book Battlefield of the Mind, sums it up well – You need to think about what you are thinking about.
Further reading: Rom 8:5-8; 2 Cor 10:4-5