Poisons of Good Thoughts – Part 6
Feeding thoughts with healthy fuel requires identifying the things which poison our thoughts. A poison of thoughts can be anything that resists holiness, values sin, and decreases your closeness with the Lord. Poisons reduce faith, weaken relationships, lessens your desire to serve, and promote self-first.
Just as there are many sources of good thought food, so there are many sources of thought poison. The worst of these, which is the most difficult to deal with, are poisons of the heart. Weather you intentionally allowed these poisons in, or they were inflicted upon you, makes little difference, they need resolving by Christ to bring their destructive work to an end.
Working against us is the fact that the heart instinctively protects pride, anger, unforgiveness, offences, resentment, impatience, and envy, which all exacerbate our heart problems. Sooner or later however, the heart cannot help but expose its treasures. Jesus explained this in Luke 6:45, the good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Sinful treasures can lay dormant in the heart for a long time waiting for the opportunity to awaken and speak into our thoughts, our actions, and our reactions. But rest assured, treasures of the heart will always show themselves, whether good or bad.
Just as good diet is essential for good health, so good heart food is essential for good thoughts. If you feed your heart with discontentment, unmet expectations, gossip, slander, conspiracy, unfaithfulness, lies, pornography, crude humour, violence, abusiveness, or worldly thinking of God, all these will poison your heart. As the heart is the inner reservoir supplying your mind with food, it is critical to fill the heart with clean and healthy supplies.
We naturally find this level of heart evaluation distasteful. Becoming aware of poisons within calls for serious humility. When David called his son Solomon to build a temple for the Lord in 1 Chronicles 22:19, he instructed him to set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. This instruction called Solomon to filter what he permitted to enter himself. It also required Solomon to wilfully determine the activities of his mind and heart. And finally, it directed Solomon to speak God oriented instructions to himself, ordering that inner activities of all kinds were to seek the LORD your God.
Instinctively, without the Lordship of Christ, mankind’s heart increasingly becomes as in the days of Noah, where God observed every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). If we neglect this important area of practical faith, our natural impulses will gravitate towards pre-salvation desires. Unfortunately, poisons of the heart come naturally and easily, often existing as the oldest residents of our hearts. They are often well disguised, buried within personality, protected by many layers of self-preservation, and masters of deceit. When they speak into our thoughts, they speak with loud familiarity and authority, plus they are always self-vindicating and destructive to both ourselves and others.
Biblical attention given to our hearts and thoughts can spare us great pain while promoting Christlikeness. Solomon instructs us to make our ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:2). Our inner selves require spiritual maintenance, but not by this world’s standards. Backslidden David new this well when he asked the Lord to create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
To be continued…