Have you ever met that girl who, the minute she opens her mouth, speaks negativity? It’s almost as if she’s desperately searching for life—for hope—in the midst of her desolate words. I feel as though when this kind of girl speaks, she actually seems to pull the life out of those around her. You know what I’m talking about—those coffee conversations that leave you more depleted after than you were before.
It’s interesting how much our words have to do with our thoughts.
Our thoughts directly affect our words, and our words directly affect our lives. You see, in the Bible, it talks about how death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). What we say has a huge impact on us becoming who we were created to be, as well as our overall well-being. Additionally, what we say reflects what’s really growing in our hearts and minds. The Bible says:
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7
If what we speak is such an important thing—so important, that it affect our lives—and our thoughts affect what we speak, shouldn’t we cultivate better thoughts first? The Bible is very clear about how we should manage our thought-life:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
“…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” –2 Corinthians 10:5
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” –Colossians 3:2-5
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming.” –1 Peter 1:13
When we understand why creating a healthy thought-life is important, we can then begin to be intentional about it. This intentionality starts with making a choice about which kind of thoughts we want to sow in our minds. Our minds are very much like a garden, where whatever we plant is what will grow. We need to choose to sow thoughts that are lovely, pure, admirable and praiseworthy—thoughts that are in line with scripture. We have to come into this with a plan. If we don’t, our minds will be filled with thoughts that don’t reflect Christ.
The next step is to actually sow them. When gardening, you don’t just throw seeds everywhere. You take the time to bury them deep into the soil. The same goes for our minds. We must actively pursue filling our minds with Scripture. You can’t sow what you don’t know. We need to make sure these words are sown deep into the soil of our minds so we can have blooms instead of weeds.
We also have to be diligent to water these words like seeds. We often think since we have already sown something, or heard it, it will automatically flourish within us. Although we may feel we will remember these words, repetition is the best way to make sure it stays with us. Good thoughts can fade from the forefront of our minds if we don’t continue to put them there on a daily basis. We can bring these thoughts into focus by writing scripture down and placing it on our mirror or on our desk—even setting our phone background to something encouraging so we see it multiple times a day.
When we have made a practice of sowing and watering good seeds, we then have to keep watch for the weeds. Don’t be fooled—they will come.
Bad thoughts will try to find their way into your mind because the enemy doesn’t want you to flourish—he wants you to think negatively so that you speak negatively and ultimately live negatively. He doesn’t want you to have a disciplined, beautiful, pure, Christ-like mind. Expect weeds to try to grow. Look in every nook and cranny. Examine the soil of your heart daily and pray for eyes that can see with clarity what the enemy doesn’t want you to notice. And when you notice those weeds growing—those thoughts getting ready to take over—pull them. Rip them out of your precious mind and replace them with the beauty of truth.
As a follower of Christ, we need to expect that every day, we will be ripping out bad thoughts and replacing them with good ones. He never said this journey would be easy, but don’t give up. Keep sowing and cultivating a beautiful garden—a healthy mind where Jesus can dwell and faith can grow. Not only is a Christ-like mind essential for you—it benefits those around you. Truth blesses every area of your life!
If you know a sister whose mind is consumed with weeds, help her remove the damage with gentleness and compassion. Transplant some of your blooms into her garden. We have all had seasons when we have let our minds get out of hand—where we’ve had to face the devastation that comes from neglecting our minds and letting it overflow with bitterness, impurity, comparison, doubt and so on. It can take so much work to pull everything out and start over. Help them. Remind them of who they belong to and the power their words of truth could have over their life. Throw seeds of truth and hope—of loveliness and purity—everywhere you can and pray that people take them to heart and sow them. You never know how different a sister’s mind could become just by a few words of encouraging scripture.
When we begin to understand the power of our thoughts, we can grow beauty in our minds and become who we were intended to be. This beauty will spill out into the lives of those around us as well, ultimately helping them become who they’re supposed to be too.
Keep it lovely. Look out for those weeds. And don’t forget to be generous with those blooms, girl!