I made the mistake some weeks back of saying what I was thinking… The truth is, what I meant to say, or not say anything at all, was not in line with the thoughts coursing through my mind. Also, the thoughts I had were not life giving, wholesome thoughts. I was angry and try as I may to restrain it, my angry thoughts came out through my words. I will admit, I was beyond mortified and learned a valuable lesson in the process.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7 KJV
We are exactly what we think. Our thoughts tend to come from what we feed ourselves. I’m not talking about the broccoli or fries debate. Rather, what we watch, read, the company we keep, the conversations we entertain. We are constantly feeding ourselves and as the old songs says, “Input, output. What goes in is what comes out… Daily you must choose.”
Are we feeding ourselves with the fruit and meat of God or of this world?
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 KJV
The easy answer, especially when upset, is to choose to believe that we are at war with the flesh. But this simply is not so. We are at war with imaginations, or thoughts, and everything trying to take God’s place in our hearts and lives. We are instructed to cast, or throw, these down and bring our thoughts into submission to the obedience of Christ and His Word.
I forgot, for a moment, that my battle was not with the people, or situation, that I allowed myself to get worked up and heated over. If our battle is not with fleshly things, people, situations, neither are our weapons. I was reminded in the moment of my offense that: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 NIV
We have a choice to make, two paths when faced with any temptation: the broad (often characterized by anger, lust, sin…) or the narrow (characterized by love, following God’s Word, mercy, compassion, turning the other cheek). I understood when I was faced with my own temptation to resort to anger that the wide gated, broad path is so easy that it takes really no effort at all to pass through. We must remember that it leads to destruction. However, the narrow path is rewarding. The narrow path is not easy. It takes the fruit of the Spirit to pass through it. And this narrow gated path leads us to life.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 KJV
While we cannot necessarily control our thoughts, we have some say over what pops into our minds. When we submit our will to Christ Jesus’ will, we allow His Holy Spirit to come in and not only change our hearts, but transform us from the inside, out by making our minds new. This truly is the only way to do what is right, in every situation, and acceptable in God’s sight.