“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he . . .”
— Proverbs 23:7
Many people constantly dwell on negative thoughts. They dwell on their fears, hurts, and problems. They focus on the fly in the ointment, never seeing the ointment but only the fly. With their negativity and destructiveness, these people can ruin the lives of those who have the misfortune of living with them and around them. Most of all, these pessimistic people destroy their own bodies and souls with their negative thoughts. And so their lives shrivel.
What kind of thoughts do you dwell on? Are you a positive thinker, or do you most often find yourself dwelling in the pit of despair?
Echoing a Biblical truth, Marcus Aurelius once said, “The most important things in life are the thoughts you choose to think.” The Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Many people believe that they don’t choose their thoughts at all, that instead their thoughts choose them. Thoughts rush at them in a stream, like a rolling script going across a TV screen, and no one can control them. But this is not so.
We do choose our thoughts. We choose what we think, and what we choose to think impacts our lives. Our thoughts determine what we say and how we say it. They determine what we are and what we become. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” We are the outward embodiments, the incarnations, of our thoughts, and because of this, we need to choose well what we think.
Take notes from the apostle Paul. He was beaten and imprisoned for the Gospel’s sake. Because of all his trials, he could easily have had a gloomy outlook. Instead he chose to think good and positive thoughts, beginning with thoughts of the Lord. We should heed Paul’s instruction: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Do you need to make a thought adjustment today? Let me encourage you to counteract your negative thoughts with positive ones. And as you do this, watch how you and your life change.