In Proverbs 23:7 Solomon said, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." Again he said, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." (Prov. 4:23). Jesus also had much to say about thinking, as in Matt. 12:34, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Thinking controls our lives. The thoughts we have are the determining factors in our lives. Our thoughts, then should be right.
We should allow God to control our thinking, for we are not able to think as we ought when we depend entirely on ourselves. We cannot think of a way to save ourselves. We must allow God to do that for us. The gospel came from God and is His plan. We must not get the wrong ideas of God. The Bible tells us that ours is a God of love, mercy, justice, and truth. He is not some terrible ogre just waiting for a chance to jump on us and consume us. We should get the Bible idea of God so that we can feel His presence and come to depend on Him as being a Friend that is ever near. But, we must not forget that in Heb. 12:29 Paul said, "For our God is a consuming fire." God will finally take vengeance on them that do not obey Him.
Many think wrongly about conscience when they depend on it as a guide. Conscience is rather a judge of conduct. If we have been taught that a thing is wrong and do it, our conscience condemns us, but if we do what we believe to be right our conscience approves. We should depend upon what the Bible says to guide us.
Many people think wrongly about how to come to God. They have some traditional ideas in regard to the matter that are not found in the Bible. They think that prayer alone, or faith alone, or faith and prayer are all that matters. This is not what the Lord has said. He enjoins faith and prayer for Christians, not for the alien sinner, but He also demands obedience to His gospel. He tells us in 2 Thes. 1:7,8 that the Lord is coming to take vengeance on them that obey not the gospel.
Many Christians have the wrong attitude about their difficulties. 1 Pet. 4:12 says, "Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trials that are to come upon you." Difficulties are going to come. Trials are going to come. We will always have problems to confront us. The solving of these is what makes us capable and strong. Running from them makes us weak and cowardly. Thinking about them as being greater than those of others is a dangerous thing, for it weakens our resistance to Satan.
Thinking bitter thoughts, planning vengeance, building up hatreds are all dangerous because they tend to destroy all the finer impulses of our being. They will eat as a canker into our moral and spiritual being. We need to replace them with thoughts of pity, of love, of trying to understand our brother who may have mistreated us.
False pride, and vainglory are also dangerous thoughts to allow to dwell in our hearts. Thinking about the lusts of the flesh is highly unprofitable as well as dangerous. Lustful thoughts are apt to come out in actions.
God, through Paul, warns us of the danger of thinking we cannot fall. (1 Cor. 10: 12). We need to be ever alert, adn walking close to God. On the other hand, thinking defeatism and fear is dangerous. The Christian has nothing to fear except sin. Paul has said that we can do all things that we need to do through Christ who strengthens us, Phil. 4:13.
Phil. 4:8 tells us the things about which we need to think. "Finally brethren, whasoever things are true, whatsoever things are honourable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things."
By: Reeder Oldham, in The Friendly Visitor.
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