The Place It All Begins
February 5, 2024
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Proverbs 4:23 NCV
You’ve seen it. Their names and faces scroll across your mind when you hear the first hint of a rumor. “Oh, no. Not again.” You can’t believe that it looks like another person you believed in, thought was morally and spiritually untouchable, has messed up his or her life. They foolishly made “personal and private” decisions, equally foolishly thinking they would not be found out. You think, “How could that pastor preach to his congregation every week when he was doing this?” “How could she lecture her daughter on her dating behavior when she was sneaking off with a guy from work?” “How could he throw away his family like that?” “How could she set her years of faithful ministry on fire for this fling?”
It seems to onlookers outside the story that it was an overnight failure, an accidental slip, but it’s never that way. It always happens the same way. Foolish, destructive, sinful decisions always get their start in foolish, destructive, sinful thoughts. If those thoughts are not quickly ejected from the mind, they quickly morph into feelings, and feelings don’t hang around very long until they become actions.
That’s why wise Solomon says, “Above everything else, guard your heart. Everything you do flows from it.” Flows … naturally. The New Century Translation says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” And your thoughts can ruin your life.
This is not just a “religious” saying. The influence your thoughts have on your physical and perceptual reality is well-documented by scientific evidence. Neuroscience tells us that thoughts are real, tangible, measurable things – electrical impulses. They are powerful, and we can direct and use them to help us. Unfortunately, many times we let them hurt us. Standford Psychologist Carol Dweck says, “For twenty years, my research has shown that the thoughts you have, the view you adopt for yourself, profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
If you want to keep yourself from wrecking your life, guard your heart. Take care of your mind.
Eject foolish, destructive, sinful thoughts as soon as they happen. You can stop the progression. You’re never an innocent victim. Your thoughts that turn into feelings and then into action are your choice. At the start is the place to stop them.
- Thank You for awakening my conscience. I will evict thoughts that can lead me astray.