Our thoughts are key in every aspect of our lives. Therefore we have to be very aware and alert of what we dwell on in our thoughts. This is so true when we are suffering. Job had no clue that God and satan had a conversation about him. We know from Job 1:8 that Job was blameless, upright, he feared God, and he shunned evil. This gives us a great insight into his thought life.
When everything in Job’s life crumbled, his immediate response was recorded for us in Job 1:20. It says, “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshipped.” Verse 22 says, “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Exemplary. There was no negative dialogue.
Psalm 15:2-5 is a template for maintaining righteous thoughts. I am going to paraphrase. It is one who walks uprightly, works righteousness, speaks truth in his heart, does not backbite, does no evil, receives no gossip, despises vile actions, honors those who fear the Lord, walks in heart integrity, does not charge excessive interest, and does not take bribes. Verse 5 says, “…He who does these things shall never be moved.”
In 1983 I was a receptionist for a Christian acupuncture doctor. He astutely told me that I was full of fear. I denied that. I didn’t feel any fear. He handed me a book to read. The title was something like this, “Do You Hear What You Are Thinking?” I was taken aback. I had no clue what my thoughts were because they filled my mind. I asked the Lord to give me a sign when I was in fear. He did. It was like a little butterfly in my stomach.
I tell you what, I was in fear. When I felt the butterfly I would confess my fear as sin. It came really often. Everytime I would confess it as sin. I was totally unaware until it was pointed out to me. It was the awareness that allowed me to change. In 1993 I learned that not every thought I had was of my own origin. That began another journey of confessing the lies I had believed and affirming the truth.
I bring this up because our thoughts affect our brain. They can cause stress that negatively affects our health. Fight or flight is a God-given reaction to help us flee or fight in immediate danger. Our body kicks into high gear. However, when we have a fearful thought with no danger, our brain doesn’t make that distinction. Fearful thoughts cause stress.
A negative dialogue against yourself, sets up an internal sabotage. A negative thought against another or our circumstances affects our attitude towards them. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Do you hear what you are thinking? Philippians 4:8 is a great template. How do your thoughts line up? Are they true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, and praise worthy? This is a great pattern to establish. It will bring health to our mind and body. It will give us quality of life to serve the Lord with gladness.