We become what we think. How we think will shape our hearts and eventually translate into words and actions. We can guard our hearts by keeping our thoughts free from evil and wickedness. Allowing our minds to become consumed with negativity will, over time, poison our hearts. This will lead to actions through our words that are not representative of the Spirit. Our words can draw people in or push them away. These same words come directly from our hearts, which are led by our minds. We would do well to not forget how our lives are directed and ensure the foundation of our faith starts in our minds. Weighing our answers not only to others, but also ourselves, will guard our lives from an evil path.
Proverbs 15:28 NIV
Our thoughts inform everything about our lives. God gives us clear instructions on what to focus our minds on. He knew how important our thoughts would be to how we would act. He also knew that in order for us to lead with love it would have to manifest first in our minds. How we think is how we derive our feelings for ourselves and for others. He wants to teach us how to think, so that how we treat ourselves and others comes from goodness and not evil. Following His instructions is how He makes everything work together as He has designed it. We are able to live in harmony when we learn His ways. Our minds can then be prepared for the work He has planned for us.
Philippians 4:8 NIV
Considerations for your planner:
- Do you pray before responding to others? Write down a recent response you gave someone and how prayer might have changed your response.
- What guides your thoughts? Write down what you are thinking right now. Are those thoughts the things described in Philippians 4:8?
A Story of Prayer Before Responding:
It is incredibly difficult to talk with someone when trust has been lost. I recently had an experience where I hired someone for a service that invited them into a very vulnerable part of my life. When I did not receive what was expected, and I felt they had violated the space I invited them into, I had so many emotions. I was sad, mad, and frustrated. I wanted to say everything that I was feeling, but I knew that was not a response that represented God.
I wanted to be constructive and kind. It took so much in me to now lash out. I prayed for the best way to respond. I reminded myself of everything good that I could muster. The most important thing I reminded myself was that this person was another one of God’s children who deserved respect no matter how I was feeling. This was the hardest part. All I could see was disappointment and the loss of an experience that could not be repeated. I wanted this person to not just say sorry, but show it with some sacrifice on their part. In my mind my experience had been sacrificed and so it was only fair that they sacrificed some of the large sum of money I had paid them.
I prayed through my anger and sadness. I responded with only the words God placed on my heart. Although I felt taken advantage of, I stirred away from vengeance and angry words I would regret. I was careful to be kind and gracious in all I said. I now have to let it go and have confidence that I did as God instructed me. It is for Him to work on that person’s heart.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.