Gilland: As a man thinks…

Man deep in thought sitting at a table

Just watch any farmer, and you will soon see the results of his labor.

A field that once may have been overrun with weeds might well be transformed into a beautiful field of corn, or soybeans. And in time, you will see the literal fruit – or vegetables – of his hard work as plants will grow and ultimately yield the bounty of food, just as they were designed to do.

This process happens in the physical world, but it also is equally important with issues in our thinking. We read the following in the Bible:

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“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7a NKJV).

Just as a farmer’s plowing brings about real impacts on the field, so do our thoughts held deep within our hearts and minds affect us. Unchecked, thoughts can result in fear, anger, malice, stress, and even physical responses that can bring death.

As a pastor for years, I have talked to countless people who felt imprisoned by their own minds, seemingly unable to think differently than what they were feeling.

But the Word of God is so helpful. The apostle Paul taught the Corinthians to bring every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5). Just because we think it doesn’t mean that those thoughts are the final word. It could be merely a temptation of the enemy of our souls or even a wrong line of thinking that we have bought into.

I was privileged this last week to hear Howard Partridge, a businessman, author and conference speaker who addressed the Christian Chamber of Commerce. During his talk, he had an amazing paragraph that shows the impact of a simple thought in our lives. Here is what he said:

“Watch your thoughts…they become words. Watch your words…they become actions. Watch your actions…they become habits. Watch your habits…they become character. Watch your character…it becomes your destiny.”

Like the smallest of seeds that become a gigantic tree, our thoughts can mushroom into something great, or something terribly damaging to our lives.

Going back to Paul for a final thought, take his advice in Philippians 4 and think on things that are pure, lovely and of good report. 

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