Boundaries on one’s thought life

Something that was once part of daily practice has been forgotten in this culture.  In earlier times, one often reviewed one’s day to determine if deeds, words and thoughts conformed to one’s conscience.  Thoughts were considered under one’s control, and each person was responsible for the thoughts allowed to inhabit one’s mind.  That idea has been largely ignored in modern times, and a person’s mind is usually a jungle of cavorting thoughts and fantasies.  It was Jesus, himself, who said all things good and bad had their origin in the “heart”, or human imagination.  Lets consider for a moment, the kinds of things we allow to wander freely in our minds.

Porn addiction is a serious problem, affecting marriages, work, and relationships.  How many crimes of a sexual nature committed against adults and children had their start in the thoughts and imaginations of the perpetrators?  Crime is a serious problem, and is most often pre-meditated.  Addictions of every kind begin with thinking about the object of one’s desire.  Depression has its roots in negative thinking.  Anger has its roots in negative thinking.  And on and on.  What if people put boundaries around their thoughts, and periodically during the day asked themselves “What am I thinking?”  What if one refused to dwell on negative thinking, imagining wrong things, and craving wrong things? 

This is hard.  When a person consciously tries not to think about something, its always there.  The secret is to replace wrong thinking with good and positive thinking.  Instead of angry thoughts, replace with thankful thoughts.  Instead of depressing, negative, “what if”  thinking, one replaces with thoughts of beauty, kindness, and admiration.  Instead of thinking “what must I have?”, thinking “what can I give”?  What would the world be like?

The apostle Paul, who probably suffered about as much as any human over a lifetime, said this : “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

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