Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Luke 6:43-45 ~
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

I'm reading the diaries of Dorothy Day, who established the Catholic Worker, and created a community dedicated to direct aid for the poor and homeless.  As I am reading her entries I'm struck by the fact that this Godly woman deals with many of the same issues that I do at times and I'm sure, some of you struggle with them too.

I find that I can show quite a bit of willpower when things are going well. I can control my words and attitude. However, after a while and especially when I get mad, all sorts of hurtful words come spewing out! All the negativity, frustration and evil that I’ve stored up in my heart will bubble up and find its way out of my mouth.

Do you find this true in your own life? How many of you struggle with saying kind words when you are angry? How many can never say anything positive? Do you find that criticism pours out of your mouth constantly? Do you struggle with filthy or coarse words? So often we think it’s just a matter of self-control. Yet, we cannot hide what is in our heart. It will come out eventually!

So what is the solution? Do we just exercise more willpower? I don’t think that’s the answer. I think we have to change the root of the problem – what is in our heart or thoughts. If we are thinking negative things constantly, we are filling our hearts with evil. If we constantly feel anger towards someone or if we have a critical spirit and constantly are telling ourselves all the ways that others are doing things wrong, these things will come out! When we allow ourselves to continue thinking negative thoughts, we are filling our hearts with garbage!

We need to change the thought process. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” There is a saying, “Garbage in; garbage out.” If we want to change what is in our heart, we must change what we are thinking about.

Each time you think something negative, ask the Lord to forgive you and replace it with something positive. It will take time to change those thought processes. 

Let’s work together on our stinking thinking this week.