You Are What You Think

"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).

Many religions identify their nerve center with some shrine or sacred city. People make pilgrimages to holy cities and pay homage to other sacred places. But the Bible reveals the center of all true faith: the heart. From the heart springs all manner of thought and behavior.

If we want to experience victory over powerful temptations, we need to think differently. Paul told us “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Ephesians 4:23), and to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Prior to coming to Christ, we “were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21). Someone might reply, “I’m not evil in my mind, just my deeds.” But all behavior, whether good or bad, begins in the heart. How we think determines how we will act.

Let’s look at one of the most helpful verses on controlling the thought life:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Look at these virtues: truth, honor, righteous, purity, loveliness, commendable, excellence. These are the virtues and qualities God wants us to think on. So to gain the mastery on our thought life, we need to meditate on wholesome truths contained in the Word of God. The more we meditate on its truths, the more we take on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). When our thoughts are controlled by the Word of God, our behavior will reflect these thoughts.

No one can completely master the thought life this side of heaven. But we can refuse to take in anything that would disturb our thought life in Christ. We should be careful about what we take in, the company we keep, and the friendships we form. If it leads us away from Christ-like thinking, we need to walk away.

We should also take time to pray for the mind of Christ to be formed in us. We should drink deep from God’s Word, asking Him to do a work in our lives. Remember, you are what you think. Guard your thoughts, and your actions will follow.

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