You Are What You Think


This is too funny. I just came across the above picture from the facebook page of my friend, Steve McAllister.  Don’t you love it!  But what is ironic  is that I sat down to write a post on this very topic and stumbled upon this picture.  Must be the law of attraction!

This principle has been expressed in a variety of ways by many different people.  

Marcus Aurelius, the 2nd century Roman Emperor, said “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” 

American Poet and Essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson penned, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” 

William James, who has been called the Father of modern psychology observed, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”

Perhaps the most eloquent commentary on this thought was written by a 19th century writer, James A. Allen in his little book “As A Man Thinketh. 

“Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought, he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. By right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to divine perfection. By the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of beast. Between these two are all the grades of character, and man in their maker and master.”

However, 1,000 years before Christ Solomon said “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).

So, how do our thoughts affect us?  Here are three important applications of this Bible principle.

(1) Our thoughts determine characterThe wise man also said, “The thoughts of the righteous are right; but the counsels of the wicked are deceit” (Prov. 12:5). The righteous don’t think right thoughts because they are righteous, but they are righteous because they think right thoughts.  If we are to become the kind of person that God wants us to be, if must begin with the right kind of thinking.

(2) Our thoughts precede our actions. When Simon sinned in Acts 8, Peter told him that his evil action was the result of the thoughts in his heart (v.22) Good deeds result from good thinking; bad deeds result from bad thinking. While it is important to always correct our wrong deeds, it is more important to correct our wrong thinking.

(3) Our thoughts often foretell our circumstances.  The Wise man wrote, “The  thoughts of the diligent tend to the plenteous; but of every one that is hasty only to want” (Prov. 21:5). This is a general principle. Obviously, some events are beyond our control. But it is usually true that our lot in life has been determined by our thoughts.  James A. Allen said, The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves; and also that which it fears.

Even when bad things happen to us when we’ve been thinking and living righteously, we can still have a positive attitude toward the circumstances. The apostle Paul is a good example of the right kind of thinking in all situations in life (Phil. 4:11-13).

The bottom line?   When we think on the right kind of things, we will be better people. Our attitudes will be better.   Our lives will be better.

And how do we improve our thinking?  Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians is the answer.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, meditate on these things  (Phil 4:8).

Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Attitude

4 responses to “You Are What You Think

  1. tommy thornhill

    Even when bad things happen I still think of the ONE in control of life. If I let Him lead, then it will always come out right in the end.


  2. Nathan

    A lesson and truth that goes all the way back to Genesis 4. Great thoughts brother Weliever!


  3. Bill Hood

    I remember having discussions along this line very early in my life as a Christian. Thanks for then, and thanks for now!


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