“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” Proverbs 4:23.
The heart of a man is the core of his being. The word ‘heart’ in the Bible is often used figuratively as the word ‘mind’ or ‘soul’, it is what the new testament calls the ‘inner man’. The soul is the central of man’s existence as human. It is the seat of intellectual decision and reasoning.
Thoughts and choices are the centralized facilities of the mind. The soul is made up of wills, decisions and emotions. Don’t forget that man is a tripartite being; a spirit who has a soul and live in the body. The soul is the intermediary between the spirit and the body.
As a new creation man with a recreated spirit which is alive to God’s Spirit, we also need to make our soul/mind alive and receptive to God’s Spirit through our spirits. Mind you, when you got born-again, it was your spirit that got saved, not your soul or body. But to function in your salvation, you need to conform your mind and body to the workings of your new spirit. That is why when you got saved, you allegedly did not feel any significant change in your mind or body, you didn’t instantly got taller or fairer, you immediately did not forgot how to do those sinful acts you do hitherto. This tells us that our body and soul remained in their previous states though our spirit got the greatest change and transformation that could ever be.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us that that the proceeds of our mind can influence our lives. What are the proceeds of our mind? They are the things that comes out from our within, they are our thoughts and choices. As we have stated earlier, our mind is the seat of our reasoning and decision. Lets us consider today how our thoughts can influence our life and why we should be careful about our thoughts.
The Good News Bible puts Proverbs 4:23 thus; “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts”. Yes, our thoughts do influence and shape our lives. Some folks say, ‘I’m a free moral agent, I can think on anything I like’, yes, you can think on anything you like, just be sure that the quality of your godly-living is proportional to how godly your thoughts are. All sorts of filthiness and evil are within the comprehension of the human thoughts. Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, Ecclesiastes 8:11 says the heart of a man is set on evil. The heart can accommodate vile and wicked thoughts.
The mind is the strongest organ of a man, yet it is the most delicate. It is the central processing unit of a human being. It can process any word or image like no other, that is why we must be careful on what we see or hear because they form our thought which subsequently form our actions. For instance, a carnal mind can deliberate on a single pornographic picture for days, and if much attention is given to this, it gets more and more magnified that it becomes the only thing the fellow see and it gets more and more intense until such falls for sexual sins. In fact, every sin committed in the real world, has first been committed in the mind either consciously or unconsciously.
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” Matthew 12:34. Another reason we must guard our mind and be careful of our thoughts is because it not only forms our actions, it forms our words. There is a chemistry between our mind and tongue, there is no way you’ll think a thing intensely and you will not say it or act it.
We should also be careful about our thought because God looks at our thoughts and we will be judged by it. 1Samuel 16:7, Romans 2:16.
Discipline your thoughts; Self-discipline starts with a thought. Behind everything you do there is a thought. If you change the way you think, you will be able to change your life. Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. (Prov 4:23). But God has given us His Spirit. That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of this world think. (1 Cor 2:12). Let the Spirit change your way of thinking. (Eph 4:23).
Finally, Phillipians 4:8 gives us an insight into what we should think on, “… Whatsoever things are true, Whatsoever things are honest, Whatsoever things are just, Whatsoever things are pure, Whatsoever things are lovely, Whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtues and if there be any praise,think on these things”. This is more than a suggestion, this is a commandment, ‘think on this things’. Make a decision to fill your mind with only the “right” thoughts, thoughts controlled by the Holy Spirit, thoughts that are pleasing to God. Those who live by the Spirit, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. (Rom 8:5). Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things. (Col 3:2). Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. (Rom 12:2).
In our next issue, we will consider making right choices within our mind.
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