Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Thoughts We Consume

The thoughts you consume will eventually consume you. 
~Sharon Jaynes

When I came across this quote by Sharon Jaynes this evening, I had to stop and consider the truth of it. Our thoughts do influence us. In fact, our thoughts form our character, determine our behavior and shape the decisions that create our very lives. If that is true, and I think it is, then were do our thoughts come from? 

Don't they originate with the thoughts we consume? The thoughts that are fed to us by our parents as children begin to shape who we are, not our own thoughts. When we go to school, we take in the thoughts of our teachers and those who created our school curriculum. Later, when we begin to search our things for ourselves, we consume thoughts of others from television, books and discussions - all of which we process and absorb or reject to form our own version of truth.

But what if we are taking in misinformation? What if we've been consuming negative, critical, untrue thoughts from others. Doesn't it stand to reason that if we are taking in a steady diet of that kind of thought, we will ourselves become negative, critical people?

Conversely, if we take in positive, encouraging truths, we will take on those kinds of thought processes. 

I believe that's exactly why the apostle Paul instructed us to think on things that will keep our thoughts headed in the right direction.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

There are thoughts, when consumed over time will lead to depression, bitterness, anger and hatred. These have the power to consume us and destroy our lives. But the kind of thoughts the scriptures encourage build us up, keep us positive and balanced. They keep us looking forward with hope and expectancy for a great life. They keep us at peace with others and make us pleasant to be around. They build our faith and help us to encourage and support others.

So, it's time to take an inventory of the kinds of thoughts you take in and ruminate on during the day. Is there something or someone you need to stop listening to? Something or someone you need to start listening to? Are there some thought processes you need to take to the Lord and ask Him to help you change?

You've heard the old saying, "garbage in, garbage out." It's true, but it's also true that if we are consuming affirming, life-giving information it will eventually consume us and make us better people. There's no better place to start than to read the words of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible. Start there and you're on your way to a great thought life.


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