Did you ever see or hear of someone doing something really stupid and you want to scream, “What were you thinking?” Or perhaps you did scream this, and the reply was, “I wasn’t thinking!” (Evidently they were not thinking of the consequences in which their actions would result.) Or perhaps, like myself, you have done or said something out of character and said to yourself, “What was I thinking???”
The question is not whether to think or not to think, because we all think, all the time. The greater issue is to be intentional about our thinking. As the proverb states, we are what we think in our hearts. (Proverbs 23:7) We may assume that what we think about will not be revealed in our actions, but we are wrong to assume that.
Our thoughts become actions. Our words will reflect what or how we have been thinking. This is the point Jesus was making when He said that whoever looks upon a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) Jesus also stated that those words that come out of our mouths spring from our hearts/thoughts. He went on to say that out of our hearts come not only evil thoughts, but murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cursing. (Matthew 15:19)
This is why we must be intentional about our thinking. How do we do this? By conscientiously being more aware of our thoughts. Do we tend to think positive or negative thoughts about ourselves and others? Do we secretly fantasize about doing things we know are wrong? Do we harbor thoughts of hatred, unforgiveness, grudges, resentment, jealousy, etc.? Do we read stories or watch movies that promote unhealthy sexual relationships or the evils of witchcraft, devil worship, and the occult? What are we feeding our minds? Whatever you feed your mind will influence your thoughts.
We can be intentional about thinking positive, wholesome thoughts by carefully selecting those with whom we surround ourselves or choose as close friends. Choose those who are positive and uplifting. I believe that more important than what we avoid is what we intentionally feed our minds. We can be more selective about our reading materials or forms of entertainment. I like to begin each day with devotional reading accompanied with daily Bible reading. (If you can’t understand the KJV, then reading another version is better than not reading at all!) Choose wholesome places to spend time with friends and family. Attend a church that is community-minded in order to stay connected and involved.
Finally, I encourage you to use these biblical guidelines regarding our thoughts: Are they true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, worthy of excellence and praise? Think these thoughts and practice them. (Philippians 4:8) Let us pray as the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord!” (Psalms 19:14)
Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.