It has been said that you are what you think and do daily. Someone recently said as the tongue wags so goes the rest of the body. I think there is a lot of truth in these statements. Matthew 15:18 says, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” What we say comes from what we think. Thoughts lead to words and words lead to actions and repeated actions make habits, some good and some bad. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If we start with focusing our thoughts on good things, it will most likely lead to good actions and good habits.
It is very easy to get caught up in negative thinking. Focusing on the negative leads to self-pity and discontent. What we focus on really does affect our words and our behavior. For instance, when I have an ache or pain, the more I focus on the pain, the worse I feel. However, if I focus on something else, the pain often lessens. If I constantly talk about the pain, then it becomes even worse until it is all I think about.
The same can be said of our circumstances. If I focus on what I don’t have, I become discontented and have a bad attitude. It can lead to complaining and eventually to poor choices. For example, I have wanted a chaise lounge for my living room. If I focus on the fact that I don’t have one, I can begin to feel like I have been cheated, and then I may complain that I don’t have one. This could lead to me buying one on a whim, say on credit or by ignoring other bills that will be coming due. Poor spending can lead to financial problems down the road. However, if I focus on what I do have, then I have a spirit of thanksgiving, especially when I think about how much worse my circumstances could be.
Once I focus my thoughts, I can then change the focus of my words. I often complain out loud when I should be grateful. I also notice that when I am around people who complain all of the time that I am more prone to complain myself. How much better would it be if I was the voice of thanksgiving and possibly changed the tone of the conversation and the thoughts of others instead of encouraging the negativity?
Once my thoughts change, my words change. When my words change, my attitude changes as well as my actions. I become more productive and happier in general. So, if you want to change your life, start with the way you think and the words you say, and you will soon find that it will change your attitude even if it doesn’t change your circumstances.