It all starts in the mind...how often have we heard that phrase? What we think becomes how we speak, how we act and who we become.
When our thoughts are in line with God's guidelines, we can be filled with God's peace. Right thinking changes the desires of our hearts and from a pure heart, comes words that reveal the peace of God in us and brings about peace around us.
Since thoughts precede words, the guidelines about pure thoughts found in Philippians 4:8-9 can be instrumental in our thoughts and speech.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Here are some vital questions to ask to align our thoughts before we speak:
1. Is what I am thinking true? If I say what I am thinking, will it give an accurate impression? If we think of something often enough, we will begin believing it is true.
2. Is what I am thinking noble or honorable? Noble means moving through life as though the world is the courtyard of God. Do our thoughts and words reflect an awareness of God's continual presence?
3. Is what I am thinking right? Are our thoughts and words appropriate for this time? Is the urge to speak a prompt from God or a selfish desire?
4. Is what I am thinking pure? Pure as in uncontaminated by pride and selfishness. Are my thoughts pure, with the desire to build up instead of tear down another person?
5. Is what I am thinking lovely or pleasant? Lovely can be translated 'to excite love'. Do our thoughts and words bring those who hear into a deeper awareness of God's love?
6. Is what I am thinking admirable? Admirable describes a holy silence. Do we pause for a holy silence in our hearts before presenting our words?
7. Is what I am thinking morally excellent? Will my thoughts and then words motivate others to godly living?
8. Is what I am thinking praiseworthy? Praiseworthy thoughts focus my identity in Christ and result in speech that motivates others to godly living.
These guidelines come from the book Treasures of Encouragement.
They seemed to be a perfect fit for the link up over at Rachel Wojnarowski where they discussed negative internal chatter and what Paul has placed on the “to-think” list in Phil. 4:8 in order to replace negative thought cycles.
I'm looking forward to "replacing that negative internal chatter into lovely thoughts."