Would people be shocked if your thoughts were displayed on a billboard for all to see?
Would you be embarrassed? Would God be honored?
Are you known for blurting out whatever comes into your mind only to be embarrassed later by what you said? We’ve all said things we wished later we hadn’t, but instead of working hard to tame our tongues, maybe we should get to the heart of the matter. “The tongue is the tail of the heart” someone wisely quipped, so taming our sinful thoughts is where to begin. When your heart is full to the brim of anger, contempt, complaining, judgementalism, envy, pride, or entitlement, poor me self-pity, then your words are just a symptom of a greater cancer.
What was inside of Mary’s heart and mind came gushing out of her mouth, and in her case, what was inside was magnificent and praiseworthy. We now refer to it as “Mary’s Magnificat”–she couldn’t help but tell others of her thankfulness, trust, adoration and amazement for all that God had done.
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
On and on she goes, telling of God’s faithfulness and goodness to her. (You can find it in Luke 2:46-55) We should take a lesson from Mary and compare her words to the state of your heart right now.
Imagine if Mary had been full of fear, contempt or why me’s? How about pride and boasting? How about snarky remarks, judgementalism or entitlement? Just wouldn’t be the same story, would it?
Thinking affects our entire life: our words, our dealings with others, our actions. So thoughts are a really big deal.
Scripture tells us to put limits on our thoughts, not letting them run wild: Is it true, honest, just, pure, lovely? No? Then don’t dwell on it.
Maybe if our words and actions shock us, we should examine what we are dwelling on.
Some thoughtful quotes:
A corrupt and unholy heart eventually will be exposed by corrupt and unholy speech… If the tongue is not controlled by God, it is a sure indicator that the heart is not, either.
Your communication will reveal the kind of [person] you really are, because what comes out of your mouth is usually what’s in your heart. If you truly desire to exemplify Christ you will seek to become a good communicator. Everything that Jesus Christ communicated was holy, clear, purposeful and timely.
Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.
Holiness begins in our minds and works out to our actions. That being true, what we allow to enter our minds is critically important. The television programs we watch, the movies we may attend, the books and magazines we read, the music we listen to, and the conversations we have all affect our minds. We need to evaluate the effects of these avenues honestly, using Philippians 4:8 as a standard. Are the thought stimulated by these various avenues true? Are they pure? Lovely? Admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy?
You and I are commanded to “sing forth the praises” of the Lord as long as we have breath. But in order to do that authentically, we have to be adoring Him from a pure heart!
Are there steps you need to take to make your words and thoughts pure?
*Warning: sometimes we’ll let our guards down and feel free to complain, gossip, criticize, etc. with a “safe person”–a spouse, a best friend, a sister. Gushing out garbage from your mouth is never a godly thing to do. You may feel temporarily better, but you’ve harmed that person and joined them in your sin of corrupting speech.
If you are trying to root out this problem in your own life, don’t put yourself in a “familiar” position where you’re tempted to sin. Stay away from those who are too easily trapped by your own shortcomings until you have rooted them out. (The old, “If you struggle with drunkenness, don’t hang around inside the bar!” principle. )
**Obviously, counseling and telling your problems for the sake of guidance is a completely different matter all together.