Thoughts

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14

I have always known that my words could be wrong or sinful, hurtful or hateful, and as someone who wants to please God, I need to “bite my tongue”, control my speech and try to always be tactful and kind on what I say.  What I didn’t always know, is I am also responsible for my thought life.  I just imagined that all thoughts were acceptable, and at any rate, not necessary to control.  I wouldn’t have advocated planning and plotting how to murder someone, but short of that, I thought all reveries were just fine–just letting my imagination and creativity have free reign.  Now I know, that the thought life controls everything.  I learned it because some things I had been thinking found their way into my words, and embarrassed me.  They could have just as easily hurt someone else badly.  If I don’t want to say unkind things, gossip, criticize others and the like, I’d better not have those imaginary conversations in my head either.

Well, how can you “not think” about something?.  If you simply decide not to think about a thing, it will be there all the more often.  But I learned its my responsibility to change my “self talk” to something positive.  I can tell myself to “just stop it” if I’m criticizing myself, criticizing someone else, ruminating about the past, having imaginary conversations with someone unpleasant, and the like.  I can first pray about the situation, then focus on re-framing it.  I can tell myself realistic things about myself rather than engage in self criticism.  I can pray for an enemy instead of having imaginary conversations where I try to justify myself, or tell off the other person.  Instead of engaging in “what if” scenarios and making myself anxious, I can thank God for all the blessings and protection I’ve been given.  I can rehearse kind things to say to someone who needs a kind word.  I can compose in my mind, notes of encouragement to someone who needs it.  I can simply put a brake on my thought spiral by just periodically declaring “break time” and examining my thoughts of the past minutes or hours.  If I do these things, and pray much, the meditations of my heart, as well as the words of my mouth are more likely to be pleasing to our Lord.

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