Positive Thinking: Both Biblical and Scientific
- Friday, October 14, 2011
The Scriptures have much more to say about the act of thinking and our thought life. The words think, thought, and mind are used hundreds of times in the Bible. The writer of Proverbs 23:7 states succinctly: “As he thinks within himself, so he is” (NASB).
Often the Scriptures refer to the heart as the source of our thoughts:
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. (Prov. 15:28 NIV)
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man “unclean.” For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matt. 15:18–19 NIV)
God, of course, knows the content of our thoughts:
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart). (Prov. 16:2 AMP)
Our Creator designed us so that our thoughts have an impact on every aspect of life. Positive thoughts bring about positive effects. Negative thoughts take everything—from attitude to health—in the opposite direction. No wonder the author of Proverbs wrote,
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Prov. 17:22 NIV)
He knew what modern science has confirmed: Negative thoughts are a form of pollution to our body. What’s more, our thoughts—good and bad—affect what we say and do. Jesus said,
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45 NIV)
Are your thoughts shaping you? Or are you shaping your thoughts? And what are your thoughts producing?
If you’re not in control of your mind, who is? Who has control of what you think? You, or God? Think about this.
Clearly, our thoughts feed our emotions, and our emotions affect our health. So you know you must beware of negative self-talk—it’s toxic. But we aren’t helpless victims of our thoughts. We can choose how they affect us. We simply must learn how to direct their course.
“I wish my mind wasn’t so scattered.”
“My mind feels so divided.”
“My thoughts are so fragmented.”
I’ve asked people who make these statements, “Is that the first time you’ve said that?” They look at me like I’ve lost my senses. Usually, they confess that those statements have been constant companions. No wonder they feel this way!
When we repeat any statement enough, even unintentionally, we can cause it, over time, to become reality. Again, let’s think about Rhonda. When she repeats to herself over and over that she’s probably going to have a bad day—guess what? She experiences so many negative emotions—and even significant physiological reactions, such as upset stomach, headache, or nervousness—that other problems occur, and simply as a result of her negative self-talk, she does, indeed, have a bad day.
Now, it’s all right to repeat statements. In fact, we’re going to repeat many of them the rest of our lives.
But we need to beware of negative statements, especially about our own minds. We don’t have to feel scattered, divided, and fragmented. We’ve been given more than that as believers.
The Bible promises the believer a sound, well-balanced mind. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control” (1:7 AMP, emphasis added).
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