Thinking is of the mind and it means to reflect upon an issue or thing, Humans think a lot and we speak a lot too. However, we do more of thinking than talking. We think on countless things both relevant and irrelevant. These thoughts come uninvited and anything can trigger them such as what we see, hear, a situation, touch, smell, a taste or a memory. Thinking is one activity we can successfully engage in while doing other things. One can easily become addicted to a particular pattern of thoughts he/she is used to continually. There are different degrees of thinking one can get to depending on the content. Shallow thoughts are those thoughts that we dismiss without giving much time to. Very deep thoughts are the ones we keep on thinking about, ruminating, pondering, weighing, it in our mind for a very long time. One can become so engrossed in deep thoughts to the extent of losing consciousness of all happenings around us. Thought patterns are of two types – the negative and the positive. Negative thoughts have to do with all negative thinking while positive thoughts have to do with all positive thinking.
ORIGIN OF NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Man, at creation was good and perfect so was everything he did including his thoughts which centered on God and all the beautiful things in the Garden of Eden. His thoughts were positive – good, lovely, pure. When he fell into sin through disobedience, he became depraved, alienated from God, sent away from the Garden of Eden to the cursed world and became a slave under Satan. The absence of God in man’s life, the demonic influence and power of Satan over his heart and the unpalatable happenings around him affected him negatively in all areas of his life. Man now thinks negatively. This implies he thinks and imagines evil and the worst of God, others, himself, life, the future, everything including situations and happenings.
Since after the fall, the thoughts and imaginations of man are more and more on the negative side as God’s statement revealed in Genesis 6:5.
EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE THOUGHTS
A). IT INFLUENCES ONE’S EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS
Man is a triplicate having body, soul and spirit. He is a complete spirit being having all that is needs to relate to God and the spirit realm. The body is the dwelling place of the spirit. The body has some sensory organs with which he contact with the physical world he resides. The soul comprises of the mind described as the center and director of human activity. It is the center of intellect/mentality, intuition, thoughts and imaginations. It is the place of emotions and feelings and also of affection. It is also the place of human will, decision making, desires and wishes. It is also the place our characters and morals are formed. The mind is conditioned by the inputs from the physical and spirit realms and they could be negative/evil or positive/godly.
Godly inputs are positive, good, true, pure, lovely, light, wise, and holy inputs. When godly inputs from the physical and the spiritual realms get to a mind in contact with the Almighty God (godly heart), it thinks on the contents positively because God is in it. These in turn affect the person’s feelings and emotions positively. These in turn keep the heart at rest, peace, joyful, healthy, hopeful and strong (Proverbs 12:5).
However, when negative inputs from the physical and the spiritual realms get to a mind under the influence of Satan, it responds negatively. Satanic inputs are negative, bad, toxic, poisonous, evil, terrible and wicked. When these inputs get in contact with the heart, it becomes dark, defiled and corrupted, poisoned, hard and heavy because the human heart was not originally created to take in negative inputs. Storms break out, emotions and feelings run high negatively. Negative inputs makes the heart sorrowful, bitter, weak, grieved, wicked, foolish, selfish, angry, hopeless, depressed, panicky, hard, weak, sinful, dulled, evil, afraid, bitter and confused.
We can all attest to the good and lovely feelings and emotions we experienced when thinking positively. For example when thinking of someone we are in love with and who is also in love with us; such thoughts give one wonderful feelings of inexplicable joy and happiness in one’s heart. As a result of the happiness in ones hearts, one smiles, talks sweet words to oneself and others; one is cool, calm and at peace inwardly and outwardly. One is full of expectancy and radiates so much sweetness and kindness to other people around. One is energized and could literarily undertake any task successfully.
We can all also attest to how we feel when thinking of someone who dumped or jilted us or someone that hurt us badly. Such thoughts brings inward fear, panic and raises storms of sadness, bitterness and anger in the heart making such a person very sad and bitter. One is pained so much in the heart that one cries, gets very tired and weak and starts having pains all over one’s body. One loses sleep and interest in things going on around. One becomes angry with everyone around you and would insult, abuse, quarrel even become violent.
These are revelations that our thought patterns (negative/positive) affect our emotions, our feelings, behavior, our general well-being, our actions, our words and our relationship with others and God. Negative thoughts affect us negatively while positive thoughts affect positively.
Majority of those who committed suicide did so due to their inability to manage their overwhelming emotional issues such as anger, guilt, anxiety, grieve, despair, loneliness, depression worthlessness and hopelessness caused by long time excessive negative thoughts on life, disappointments, offences, future, ill health, joblessness, lack, persecution, unfulfilled dreams or desires, failures, disappointment, financial crisis, loneliness, hardship, misfortune, bullying and death of loved ones among others. Thinking negatively on the negative things your senses reveal would destroy you while thinking positively upon seeming negative things and situations minister life (Romans 8: 6).
Thinking on the negative things and situation of life are of no benefit at all. It does not solve any of life’s problems rather it escalates/aggravates it by making it look larger than life and weighs one down. Many people who committed suicide did so because they entertained negative thoughts mainly bothered on the world and life’s experiences, negative thoughts of themselves and negative thoughts on the future. With these, looking ahead they see continuing hardship, frustration and hopelessness. Listen to what our Lord Jesus Christ says, “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’
Which of you by taking thought can add a cubit into his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they row; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if god so cloth the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more cloth you, o ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? Or what shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thoughts for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6: 25-34
B). IT INFLUENCES ONE’S HEALTH
Earlier on, we revealed that positive thoughts make the heart joyful, glad and at peace in the innermost part. Interestingly, joy and gladness and peace of heart are the major sources of strength and health both in the inward man and outward of man (Proverbs 17:22) are like good medicine to the whole body.
Negative thoughts are joy and happiness and peace killers (Matthew 15:18-19). Evil thoughts are harmful to the human spirit, soul and body. They cause so much pain and sorrow in the heart which hurts the heart badly and weighs it down making man restless, tired and defeated. Many who committed suicide do so as a result of long term battle with defeatist thoughts that left them with no joy, gladness and peace of mind.
Negative thoughts are toxics and poisons. Just as toxics and poisons contaminate and totally destroy things they come in contact with so also are evil thoughts. Negative thoughts contaminate and poison the human immune system thereby weakening and destroying them. Once the immune system is weak, one becomes vulnerable to diseases and infirmities. Medical researches reveal 60-70% of all sicknesses and diseases are psychosomatic-mind induced. Negative emotions and feelings of anxiety and worries, unforgiving, bitterness, anger, sadness, grieving, are known to be contributory factors to the different sicknesses and diseases of the heart ravaging mankind which include all types of depressions, anxiety, hypertension, panic attack, cardiac arrest, insomnia, nervous breakdown, cancer and many others diseases that are heart and mind-related.
C). IT INFLUENCES ONE’S PRODUCTIVITY
Positive thoughts make one to be optimistic in everything one does, that is, it makes one have feelings of high expectations of success. This is needed to enable one put in one’s best in whatever he/she does. Apart from this, good thoughts enables one to think good of others, oneself and of good things for the betterment of others and humanity. Doing this ushers in good ideas and inspirations, enhances creativity and good inventions. The thoughts of the diligent tend to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want (Proverbs 21:5).
Negative thoughts are anti-productive. They make one to waste precious time that would have been used to achieve something good to thinking of bad and irrelevant things. Apart from this, one experiences fatigue and tiredness due to lack of joy, gladness and peace of mind. Evil thoughts turn one to a pessimist who always expects things not to be successful. This feeling weakens, demoralizes, discourages and destabilizes the heart and makes one not to attempt or undertake any tangible work.
D). IT INFLUENCES ONES ACTIONS
Almost all our actions both positive and negative are borne out of our emotions and feelings which are connected to our thought patterns (Matthew 15:19).. Positive feelings and emotions breed positive actions while negative thoughts breed negative emotions and feelings. Negative feelings and emotions breed negative actions. A good man’s actions are full of goodness and kindness. A wicked man’s actions are full of wickedness and cruelty. Evil thoughts are the root causes of all man’s wickedness and violence on earth (Genesis 6:5-7; Psalm 10).
Margaret Thatcher, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has these to say on this, “Watch your thoughts for they become your words. Watch your words for they become your actions. Watch your actions for they become your habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for they become your destiny.”
E). IT INFLUENCES WHAT COMES TO YOU
There are uncountable spirit beings and other things both good and evil all around us just as we have the physical ones. They cannot force themselves into any life. The only way they can attach themselves to any man is spiritually. The spirit man contacts the spirit realm. Our thoughts like words are from within us, they are spirit, life and full of energy. Energy is released while we are in deep thoughts. Positive thoughts release positive energy which is light while negative thoughts release positive energy which is dark. Light is good and lovely and attracts good and lovely people and things to one. Darkness is negative and full of evil and attracts negative and evil people and things to one’s life. Thinking the worst continuously on any negative situations open wide doors for the devil and his demons to invade one’s life. Think well so that good would come to you.
F). IT INFLUENCES ONE’S WORDS
The pattern of our thoughts (negative or positive) has great influence on our spoken words because our thoughts are what translate to our spoken words. This implies our spoken words are our unspoken thoughts. This is to say that negative thoughts produce negative words while positive thoughts produce positive words as our Lord Jesus revealed in Matthew 12:34-35.
Our spoken words are spirit and alive because they are from our mind. Unimaginable negative and positive things happen when we speak depending on the power at work in us. Our spoken words carry so much power and energy having passed through the tongue invested with the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). James described the tongue as an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8). Every negative word spoken brings negativity to our lives while every positive word brings positive effects to our lives. Positive words minister health and life (Psalm 34:12-13; Proverbs 15:4; 12:18b). Negative words defile the whole body, snare the soul and kill the spirit (James 3:6; Proverbs 15:4).
In view of these, great care must be taken in the choice of the pattern of our thoughts as they affect our spoken words bearing in mind what the Scripture tells us about the tongue because we all self-talk. To self-talk implies talking to one self. As human beings we involve in self talk consciously and unconsciously, positively and negatively on daily basis. All the good or bad things one says to one-self have a way of eventually coming to pass. What many of us are experiencing at the present are the results of our past talks to our self. The Scripture says “thou art snared with the word of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of the mouth” (Proverbs 6:2). Therefore the Scripture encourages us to confess positively in Joel 3:10 saying “…let the weak say I am strong.”
Self abuse, self insult, self curse all have negative effects on one. Beware of what comes out of your mouth; because your words can build your life or destroy it. God has promised to do whatever He hears us say about ourselves (Numbers 14:28).
One’s words don’t only work against one in the world, but also on the Day of Judgment as Jesus says, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words thou shall be justified and by your words thou shall be condemned” (Matthew 12: 37). Every careless word spoken either as a joke, swearing or curse has serious repercussions. Refrain from your tongue from evil (1 Peter 3:10)
G). IT INFLUENCES ONE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS
Positive thoughts make one lovely, amiable and beautiful to relate with. Positive thoughts enable one to relate freely in love and kindness with others without any hesitation or reservation or suspicion because it harbors no evil towards others.
Meanwhile, negative thoughts rob one of their joy, gladness and peace of mind. Therefore, they are always gloomed faced and very unfriendly. They are very suspicious of everyone else because of their own evil ways. They harbor bitterness and grudges and are easily offended, very unforgiving, and very revengeful.
King Saul and how he related with David was a very good example of how those given to evil thoughts behave towards others. How David related with King Saul was a very good example of how those given to positive thoughts behave to others.
H). IT DEFINES YOU
“As a man thinkest so he is” (Proverbs 23:7). This implies the thoughts of man makes the man or a man is the product of his thoughts. What an insightful statement that you are who you think you are. Think of failure and you become a failure, think of success and you become successful. Good and bad outcome of oneself and other things are established first in the mind before they become manifested in the physical. So what are you thinking of yourself right now?
It is worthy to point out here that unhealthy self esteem a.k.a inferiority complex which had turned many to slaves of others, losing confidence in themselves, with self defeating habits and behaviors has its root cause in negative thoughts of oneself.
I). IT IS A SIN
Having negative thoughts is a great sin against the Holy God who hates everything evil. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 15:26). “Thoughts of foolishness is sin” (Proverbs 24:9). Evil thoughts are devoid of God (Proverbs 15:26). As a sin, it shall be judged by God as He did of those revealed in I Romans 1:21 & 24-32.
FORSAKE YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
The effects of negative thoughts are enormous based on all discussed above therefore there is need to change. In as much as each human being has the will power to make certain changes, lasting and good results can only be attained with the help of God. God desires we totally refrain from negative thoughts as He spoke to us through Isaiah 55:7 saying; “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let them return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
a) From the quotation the first thing is to return to God by becoming born again. This is to acknowledge Jesus in the inside of you (Phil 1:6) and be baptized by the Holy Spirit. Any born again has become a new creature, and old things have passed away. The more you see your true identity the more thoughts of peace and purpose will replace the defeating and poisonous thoughts. The more you allow your thinking to operate the way God operates, the higher the degree of success (Romans 12:2)
b) Renew your minds (Romans 12:2). Change to positive thinking. “Finally brethren, whatsoever things that are true, whatsoever things that are honest, whatsoever thing are just, whatsoever things that are lovely, whatsoever things that are of a good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praiseful, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Let me break this down a bite are going to explain each one:
- Whatsoever things that are True are things that have no falsehood, not fake no lies, and no deceit.
- Whatsoever things that are Honest are things that are error free, sincere, truthful and no compromise.
- Whatsoever things that are Just are things that are fair, reasonable, attractive or useful and no bias.
- Whatsoever things that are Pure are things that contains nothing that does not belong, nothing that contaminates or pollute, no impurity, contains no elements outside the truth found in the word
- Whatsoever things that are Lovely are things that are pleasant, beautiful and delightful.
- Whatsoever things that are of good report are things that have nothing bad or of evil report, Philippians
- Virtue is a life giving, life edifying and ministering
- Praise-praise worthy, commendable
c) Thinking is an activity we cannot stop doing, it is a sign of being alive so it cannot be stopped. However, as a human being with will power you can choose your thought pattern. Choose to be positive. Flashes of negative thoughts would still come. Do not entertain but cast it out immediately as advised in (2 Corinthians 10:5), “Casting out imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
d) Choose good books to read. Where possible avoid reading, witnessing or involving in negative situations, activities and incidents that can ignite negative thoughts.
e) Retain God in your consciousness and meditate on him. Count your blessings and thank Him for them.
f) Read and meditate on God’s words; as you read and submit to the words of God, the word will push away evil thoughts.
Feel free to leave your comments. God bless you!