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Points to Ponder: You are what you think about
Points to Ponder
You are what you think about
"What we think about when we are free to think about what we will -
that is what we are or will soon become." (A. W. Tozer)
"As (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
"Jesus likewise said, 'A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil'" (Luke 6:45). The Bible teaches that we become what we think about.
Dr. A. W. Tozer says in his book Born After Midnight that you can do a self-examination of your true spiritual condition by simply monitoring where your thoughts are going. What you are now and what you are becoming can be discerned by taking note of where your voluntary free thoughts are choosing to dwell.
A favorite verse of mine, in just a few words, sounds a warning in this regard:
"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
Tozer's point is well taken and profoundly true if you apply it. It's no less true if you don't, but there are many truths we have failed to grasp in life simply because we weren't paying attention. Or because we're too proud to submit to them. (Recall how "wise" you were in your teens and twenties, then you'll know what I mean.)
Guarding the heart begins by simply taking inventory of your thought life. And much of that is guided and structured by the things you are allowing into your soul through your eyes and your ears.
Have you noticed how watching certain TV programs or movies affects you? Do scenes replay in your mind the next day? Is that good? Do you find that the "wisdom" being played out in the lives of fictional characters (in soap operas, TV series, books) guide and justify, if not sway, your own judgment on real life matters?
I used to work with a supervisor who would make his point or teach a lesson by quoting lines from movies. He obviously watched A LOT of movies - they flowed through his mind, defining how he perceived life and how he engaged situations. Is that bad? Better question: Is that good?
Do you want your character and thought process influenced by that which is not real?
Our thoughts when given freedom to roam will drift in the direction of the heart. Our spiritual condition is being shaped daily just as bodily exercise has its daily affect on our physical condition. You have to motivate yourself to work out your body; likewise, you have to intentionally control where your thought life is taking you. You do that by guarding your heart, guiding your mind.
"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:9-11).
He goes on to say that running through God's word, and allowing it to flow through him allows God to strengthen you from within.
"For You shall enlarge my heart" (v. 32).
It's good to consider how your way of thinking has been affecting you. What is influencing your perspectives? What sets you off? What calms your soul?
When your thoughts roam freely, do they take you toward the things of God? If your dreams and desires came to be, would you be a better person? Or is there some darkness in your thinking that you're toying with today? Guard your heart.
The psalmist gives wise counsel:
"Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way" (Psalm 119:36-37)
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days). www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.
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