NIV- “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.”
I’ve never understood why people kind of snicker when they hear someone talking about positive thinking and attempting to have a positive attitude. It’s as if striving to improve our lives is a bad thing.
I’d argue that those that accomplish the most in life 9 times out of 10 make an asserted effort to be positive. Think about the person you respect most in life. My guess is that that person doesn’t tell themselves or others that they will never accomplish anything. They probably have a lot of confidence in themselves and strive to maintain a positive attitude.
According to Norman Vincent Peale in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking:
“the words we speak have a direct and definite effect upon our thoughts. Thoughts create words, for words are the vehicles of ideas. But words also affect thoughts and help to condition if not to create attitudes. In fact, what often passes for thinking starts with talk.”
Think about if you’ve ever done this. In conversation with friends, you are talking about someone famous who has accomplished what most would consider something great in their life. I’m shocked at how often I hear people follow that up with this comment or something similar, “Must be nice. I’ll never be able to do anything like that.” And the conversation topic may be different but the follow-up comment is always similar. By making those comments, people subconsciously convince themselves verbally that they will be average and mediocre. A lot of times without even realizing it.
The majority of our lives (outside of sleeping) is spent talking to ourselves in our heads. Yet most of us, during this time, spend a large part of it subconsciously beating ourselves up and telling ourselves we won’t accomplish what God’s plan and His definition of success is for our lives. We probably rarely ever realize it.
You’ve probably heard this saying: “Your mind is like a parachute. It only works if it is open”. When we make negative comments, we close our minds. Because our minds aren’t open, they just assume what they’ve been told and don’t think any different. As a result, we stay mediocre and never truly accomplish the plan God has for our lives.
What lesson we can take from this?
The goal in life should be to live a life honoring of God and to accomplish what His calling and plan is for our lives. When we tear ourselves down verbally, we are actually counter-actively working against ourselves as we strive to accomplish that. If you are a person who finds yourself subconsciously negative, you can change that by changing your thoughts.
The following is another great Norman Vincent Peale quote:
“Watch your thoughts; They become words. Watch your words; They become deeds. Watch your deeds; They become habits. Watch your habits; They become character. Character is everything.”
Realize how important our minds are? If this is the progression, we need to first focus on changing our thoughts. Since we saw earlier that our words play a role in our thoughts, we can start by consciously changing the words we are speaking. Also, it is imperative we pay more attention to the types of things we put in our minds.
For example, what types of people are we spending time with and do their actions and words give us healthy thoughts? Also, are we reading the Bible and books authored by leaders we respect? Are we listening to podcasts that contain information that will make us better people?
I believe that verses like Proverbs 18:7 speak truth about how important and delicate our tongues and words are. Another favorite of mine is Proverbs 18:21 which says:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (NIV)
Going back to my post a few backs on the principle of sowing and reaping, our words are seeds and we need to think of them that way. If we want our thoughts and words to bear fruit throughout the progression, we need to plant carefully.