This past week I have been pressed to consider the power of our thoughts. Like so many I have learned over the years the importance, even life altering capability we have based on what we think. I have on my dresser a plaque given to me by a classmate with the Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.”

During the early mornings as I read my scriptures and personal development books there has been a reinforcing message about the importance of mastering your thoughts. So I began to break this down into several questions.

Where do thoughts come from?

As a Christian, I know that there is an enemy who would love to take over my thoughts, to hinder, limit, even destroy my life. Yes, the image of the little red devil sitting on one shoulder whispering all of his evil messages and the heavenly spirit speaking into the opposite ear reinforcing, life giving thoughts with our minds stuck in the middle having to make a choice come to mind. Thoughts also come from our experiences that have set programs now hard wired into our memory so when we face a similar situation it automatically reinforces our thoughts positively or negatively. These are not just experiences, but words spoken to us by others in our lives that take hold when we choose to believe them. And therein lies the pivotal moment that determines everything.

Do you take command of your thoughts?

We have all heard the analogies of what goes in, comes out. Surround yourself with positive input and people. Eliminate the negative. Read and listen to audios or watch videos that provide positive programming. Meditate and speak positive affirmations. Journal positive statements for those areas you want to change. Post pictures to be reminded of your aspirations. All of these are valid and true. They work, but these one more very crucial step.

Examine the heart. Out of the heart every evil or good pours forth. I have found that taking command of your thoughts begins with a transformation in the heart and one that happened for me when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. That’s when I began to have the desire to change what I thought, what I believed and who I wanted to be. The change has been a process that is taking years. Yet, now I rely not on my own will power, but on God’s love continually doing a work from within that is prompting me to guard my heart, mind and thoughts.

Do you consciously “sift” your thoughts?

Have you ever watched a quality control manufacturing line, where they will have workers stand over the conveyor belt plucking out the inferior products so that only the high quality ones go into packaging for sale in the marketplace? That’s what we must do with each of our thoughts. When thoughts come at us, we must hold that thought up for inspection asking ourselves, “is that true?” And our “truth” can only be based on who God says we are, because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Through this knowledge of truth, we now have an image just like the quality control workers have, to hold these thoughts up to for comparison. When it doesn’t stand the test, it has to be rejected. We have to choose thought by thought to receive or reject. Not easy when you first get started, because you can have so many negative programs that are the opposite of how wonderfully purposed, our creator has designed us. Yet, just like any endeavor, prompted from within through love, we can find the strength to do the battle. It’s like chopping through thick weeds; garbage and filth built up over the years…one day at a time, staying focused determined and empowered to push on by faith.

You deserve to be who you were purposed to be.

Often times for myself and as I council others, when I hear words that describe doubt, fear, worry, self defeat, guilt, unforgiveness, resentment, judging, unbelief, blaming, etc.…they become outward signs of inward heart and mind conditions. I am so grateful that God has not given up on the “house cleaning” process needed in my life. I have experienced each of the words listed above first hand. I have not overcome these easily or quickly…and I am still a work in process.

There is hope, and we can improve managing our thoughts.

Today, I want to encourage you, you can win this battle, and you don’t have to do this alone. Ask for God’s help. He is faithful to hear your requests; He loves you and will never leave you. In many of my darkest battles, between those thoughts bombarding me, and tempting me, I know that even if I fail, I am forgiven. Then I get back up, remind myself of the image God sees for me and I move forward.

Quick Thought Control Questions

Is this a doubt?
Is this rooted in fear?
Is this an old negative programmed thought?
Does this thought align with truth?
Is it positive or condemning?
Is this thought based on worrying?
Am I judging as I am comparing myself to others?

If yes to the above, the Bible tells us to cast it out. Banish it. Refuse it. Speak Life. It only takes a second to say out loud the opposite to any of these thoughts.

Thoughts become beliefs. Beliefs become what we take action on. What we take action on is how we live and what we become.

Choose life.