Guarding my Heart and Mind

A man’s heart determines his speech.  A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him.  An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it.   Matt 12:34-35

We all know what it feels like when we can’t wait to tell someone what is on our mind.  Our thoughts, good or bad, when connected with emotion, good or bad, are just bound to come out in our speech.  When we’re angry at someone, we can’t wait to get it off our chest.  When we want to complain, we have those who will listen.  When we are very excited by good news, we want to share that, and when we have what we think is a great idea, we can’t wait to show it off.  The best speech of all, is the one that comforts and encourages someone else, but even that has to come from somewhere.  We have to think about what to say, or at least draw on springs of compassion from somewhere deep within us.

So, if we want to be one of those people who always seems to have a good word for everyone, and great ideas to share, we have to do some serious work on the contents of our minds.  Many people have no idea they can control their thoughts.  They just let any and all thoughts wander through the living room of their minds like a herd of sheep, complete with dirty feet and scattered remains.  Counselors have long called depression the result of “stinkin’ thinkin'”  and if that is true, its time to clean the house of our minds.  We can train ourselves to periodically examine our thoughts.  We can ask ourselves, “whats been uppermost in my mind today?  Or what were the top 5 things I gave a lot of thought to today?”   Then we can examine whether these thoughts were productive thoughts, enjoyable thoughts, anxiety producing thoughts, or angry, resentful thoughts.  We can then consciously dismiss the negative, useless thoughts.  With practice, we can learn to recognize a negative thought right away and chase it out like we chase wildlife away from the house.

Since most minds ( multitasking is really whirling tasks around, not concentrating on multiple things as once) can only dwell on one thought at a time, there is limited space on the mental agenda.  If the agenda is full of positive thought, its harder for the negative to get in.

How can we get more productive, happy, useful thoughts into our minds?  Fill them with nourishment.  First of all, pray.  Thank God for all that is good and beautiful in your life.  Ask His help to be a positive person.  Ask Him what good and lovely things He wants you to work on today or this week.  Read good, inspiring thoughts every day.  Scripture verses, chapters of scripture, and devotionals are a start.  Biographies of people who led uplifting lives are good, as are “heartwarming” fictional stories and shows.  Try to spend more time around the people who bring you “up”, and less time around those who drag you “down”.  As you get stronger, you can try to tackle lifting those negative people, but you have to breathe the oxygen yourself first.


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