This morning, sitting in my chair with my Bible, coffee, and journal, a picture came to mind. In the picture, I saw that the thoughts I entertain (and everybody else) had hands and were massaging my heart. Who doesn’t like a massage? However, in this scenario, not all massages are good.
Whatever is massaging your heart is determining your worldview, and that includes your thoughts, beliefs, values, intentions, goals, dreams, and attitudes. Basically, everything about you.
You are what you eat. The thoughts you are chewing on are either true or false. Every thought either lines up with God’s Word or does not. This goes for issues of the heart as well as your image of God, your position on the moral issues of our day, whether or not you think it a good thing to give money to the person on the corner that you are afraid might turn around and “waste” your money, and a host of others topics.
The thoughts you entertain today, you know, the thoughts you chew on over and over and over (the Bible calls this ‘meditation’), are absolutely, in the fullest sense, ministering to you. I read the other day that when a cow eats grass in the morning, it is able to store that grass in different stomach compartments. Then, later in the afternoon, while under a shade tree, the cow is able to bring it back up (i.e. cud) and chew on it once more. What a great picture of meditation. These cud thoughts will shape you more than anything else. Solomon wrote, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life” (Proverbs 4:23 HCSB). And, “for as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Prov. 23:7 HCSB). You get the idea.
So be a bully with bad thoughts. Do not tolerate them. Do not allow them to sit around in the waiting room waiting for an appointment. You must be ruthless. In addition, you cannot merely get rid of negative thoughts. Wrong thoughts must be replaced. Trying to rid your mind and heart of wrong/bad thoughts without replacing them with truth is a hopelessly frustrating venture.
Are you still mulling over thoughts of unforgiveness?
Are you still rehearsing something someone said to you last week?
Are you still mad about a promotion that did not come?
Or a raise that you did not get?
Or an opportunity that dissolved?
Or a person who did not pay you the respect you felt you deserved?
Or your financial situation?
Or the fact that God did not do something like you thought he would or even should have?
Or a failure that you cannot do anything about now?
Or a past relationship?
Or how dissatisfied you are with your current situation?
The list is endless.
One last word. I do not want you to think this is nothing more than a self-help piece, so let me connect all of this to what really matters — God’s glory.
If you as a Christian are chewing on bad/negative/wrong thoughts, those thoughts are massaging your heart and it is the condition of your heart that will determine today whether or not the living waters of Jesus flow in your and through you today. And that determines whether or not you will be a blessing or a curse to people. And that will determine whether or not people are pointed to Christ when they glance your way.