As mentioned in part one, believers are not thinking positive for positive sake. For believers, there is a purpose behind our positivity. Our positive thinking is directly tied to our faith in the Almighty.
We speak what we believe. We think and speak how the Word tells us to think and to speak. It has taken me over thirty years to gain this understanding; I have it now and refuse to let it go! Believing God requires obedience, and not just to the parts that appeal to us. Faith in God entails speaking what He has said, and standing firm on what He has said.
The Spirit of God dwells on the inside of us, so we should not live with a “woe is me” attitude, we should not belittle ourselves or call God a liar by the things that we say. For believers, negative thinking and speaking aren’t only unfruitful but also foolish. The Word of God has much to say about it, so let’s dig in.
It is the words of a fool that brings trouble and ruination down on his/her head.
Come on believers, be honest – are you using words of life or words of death? Are we speaking death over our problems and circumstances, or are we speaking life? Are we standing on what God can and will do for those who love Him, or are we cowering in fear and repeatedly cursing ourselves by the things we say?! John Gill explains,
We often think what flows from our mouths are just words; however, open your ears and you will have to admit that is untrue. The world is full of mindless chatter and foolish talk. At times I am awestruck at the thoughtless chatter that spills from the mouths of professing believers. Our Lord did say that we will give an account for every idle word. Our words, on the day of judgment, will make or break us. Our words!
Idle means pointless, unproductive – not tending to edification, unfounded, having no basis in fact! The Greek word for idle in Matthew 12:36 is argos (ἀργός). By implication, it means (among other things) lazy, barren and useless. This causes me to question whether or not many of us are too lazy to be disciplined with our words.
According to Scripture people of God are not to engage in mindless talk; we aren’t supposed to just let anything fly from our lips – no matter what the circumstance. We’ll have no excuse when we stand before God. I have to examine my speech – what am I saying without thought? What does your self-evaluation reveal?
Throughout Scripture, we are instructed to using words to edify instead, not destroy. So often, however, we use words to destroy ourselves, bringing death to our lives and the lives of others. We use words to cultivate an atmosphere that is negative and unproductive. Disobedience is what we live by when it comes to our speech.
I used to look at this passage and think, “yeah right! That only works for those who have “made it” to the top of the church chain.” I would have told you that I tried it, but it didn’t work. As a matter of fact, I used to believe that it would not work “for me.”
Sadly, this is exactly what I was raised believing – that it would not work “for me.” God did things for some people but not unfortunate souls like me. With God’s help I, a recovering Negative Nelly, now have a better understanding. One thing I have realized is that Jesus’ words are indeed true.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard things like,
The problem is that Negative Nellies do believe, and they speak what they believe – they just believe and speak the wrong things! Jesus clearly states “he [you and me] shall have whatsoever he saith.” Negative Nellies actually prove this passage every day; they have exactly what they say! ” Negative Nellies speak what they believe; they just believe the wrong things! Click To Tweet
When I recognized this it was very liberating. God does not lie, and we make the decision to apply what He has said negatively or positively. Life or death, naturally and spiritually, is our choice! What are you choosing today?
So-called believers who speak of God’s abilities and goodness one day, and then speak like they don’t even know God the next day, are double minded. They are indeed snared by the words of their lips (Prov 18:7). Oftentimes these individuals will blame God for their circumstances because they fail to realize they have laid a trap at their own feet! The Bible clearly states,
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8 KJV)
In light of these definitions, let’s look at that verse again.
Put away from thee a disobedient, unyielding, mouth – and contrary, obstinate in the wrong, lips put far from thee. Proverbs 4:24
We often think of obstinacy, stubbornness, and contrariness in regards to the behavior we see in others. Very seldom is this associated with one’s words; however, the Bible lets us know that one can be unwilling to change when it comes to the ways of their mouth. I have watched individuals adamantly hold to their negative, unbiblical, positions, and get upset when confronted with the truth of Scripture! Where do you stand in regards to this passage? Something to think about isn’t it!?
Our communication, then, should not be such that demeans us or anyone else. It should not be communication that makes the Word of God – the truth – ineffective, unacceptable, or worthless in our lives or the lives of others. Our words are supposed to edify (enlighten, improve) people – including ourselves! All too often, however, believers use their words to confuse and destroy.
Church folks love to toss around that verse from Philippians that says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (4:13). Many use this verse in regards to nearly everything they desire to do. My question is why doesn’t it apply to obeying what the Lord commands us to do?
In this same chapter we find instruction regarding exactly what to keep our minds on; why don’t we obey this, if we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us? And for all those who ridicule positive thinking, everything Philippians 4:8 commands us to think on is positive!
It matters what we think. If you keep your thoughts right your speech will be right. For, as Jesus said,
The Greek word used for heart in this passage is καρδία ,kardia, (kar-dee’-ah). It means “the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind).”(Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries)
Let me ask you something. What are you feeding your mind?
We know from the Scriptures I’ve shared here, along with numerous others in the Bible, that God wants us to be disciplined in our thoughts and in our words. He wants us to keep our minds on the right things, on His Word. He wants us to believe Him, to trust Him. We have a responsibility to do our part; God is not going to do our thinking and talking for us.
As believers, it does not matter how we want to handle our thoughts and speech; God has set a standard by which we are to think and speak, not us. We must obey God. It may not be easy, especially for those who have been Negative Nellies all their lives, but we must obey God.
We cannot fill our minds with news of every dark deed the enemy is doing, every ungodly situation being portrayed on TV, and every bit of gossip our ears can catch and expect to have our thoughts and words line up with God’s standard. It does not work that way.
For believers, our faith is tied directly to how we think and what we say. What normally falls from our lips is where the proof of our faith – or lack of it – is found. Our unrehearsed words tell what’s in our heart, what fuels our mind; it reveals what we truly believe. If we are saying we love and trust God, but out of our mouth flows everything that contradicts His Word…then we are double minded and slam the door of God’s blessings right in our own faces. We all must purposefully get in agreement with God, and stop contradicting what He has said.
Time’s run out for playing around and living via frivolous, undisciplined, thoughts and words. What we think and say does matter, much more than most realize. We must actively guard our minds and our mouths in order to live the life God desires for us to live.
Until next time!