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.
Our thought life matters so much.
I have journaled most of my life – since I was about 9 years old and I got my first diary as a birthday present. It was a little blue book with a lock and a key and a cute little mouse on the cover.
In those days, my thoughts were what you would expect from a nine-year-old. My teacher is nice. That person is mean. I like chocolate ice cream. A few years later my thoughts were more engaged in friends and boys. My diary entries from that era were more like: I’m going to marry Mark. Michelle is my best friend. Backstreet Boyz 4 EVA. (Names changed to protect the innocent)
In high school, my entries became longer and more complicated with issues like: Jessica told everyone that I like Todd even though I cannot even stand him. She is such a *$%#! Here is a ten-point list of all the things that bug me about Kristen. Freshman year of college wasn’t much better. He won’t call me back and I’m going crazy. My roommates had a loud party last night and could not sleep. Then I fell asleep in my 8 am class and I’m pretty sure the professor hates me. Should I change my major?
The Bible says that words matter.
Exodus 20:7 ESV – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Proverbs 29:20 ESV – Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Matthew 12:36 ESV – “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”
Ephesians 4:29 ESV – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Colossians 4:5 ESV – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
And if what we say matters, how much more the source of our words: the thoughts that triggered them. Before I ever put pen to paper, each word was once a thought informed by deeper beliefs and feelings stemming from my very core.
Before I began to pursue God in a significant way, everything I poured out onto paper was left unfiltered by the wisdom of God’s word. I realized that, left to my own devices, my mind is a chaotic, unpredictable place. Left unchecked, it can be a dangerous place from which to live.
I’m guessing that you might be a bit like me (with or without the journals). Your inner thought life feels messy and disorganized. Perhaps it just goes with the flow, darting here and there dependent on external circumstances and waves of emotion. After all, it takes no effort to be tossed by a wave.
But God is sovereign over the waves and he brings order to chaos. He sees and cares that we struggle. He made us. Jesus understands from experience how we struggle. He became one of us. And the Holy Spirit empowers us. He dwells within us.
Because of his love for us, he has given us a solution for our restless minds. His word. (The Bible) The Word. (Jesus) Yes, he has already given us the key for transforming our minds from lost to found, and it rests in our saying YES to him. By receiving and accepting wisdom we can grow in maturity, faithfulness, and holiness.
We will be exploring this topic of thought life transformation for the next three weeks, here on the blog as well as on Instagram. If you haven’t already, please follow @TeaAndTestimonyBlog and join along!
All scripture references taken from NLT unless otherwise noted.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Openbible.info. “What Does the Bible Say About Words?” Openbible.info, accessed 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.openbible.info/topics/words.
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