If You Can’t Say It, Don’t Think It
Over the years, I’ve seen the effects of my thoughts on the lives of others. I’ve watched people respond to my unspoken anger, frustration or even affection. It’s shocking to see how thoughts can affect those around us without uttering a single word. Simply put, my thoughts affect others and carry a huge weight.
The fact is this: I’m not given a free pass to think as I like just because I don’t utter the words that I’m thinking. If I think thoughts, and indulge them, their effects are as real as if I spoke them aloud!
Thinking My Thoughts
Far too often we can have thoughts that remain hidden without much external notice, yet they still can pack a punch. For example, I can’t see someone day after day and think, “Ooh, I just hate them!” and not have it affect them. My thoughts affect others!
I’m not talking about the fluttering thoughts that come from the devil to tempt me to sin, which I dismiss. What I’m talking about is the thought that comes into my head that I legitimize by giving it time and rehearsal. These thoughts are as powerful, if not more so, than words. They carry soulish power to influence. The bottom line is that if I can’t say it out loud to you, then I shouldn’t indulge it in my thoughts.
Let me give you another example. I wouldn’t typically rage to someone’s face, but do I do it in my mind? I wouldn’t say, “You stupid idiot, why don’t you just shut up!” But do I give way to this line of thinking in my head? I believe the effects could be the same. Outwardly screaming in people’s faces might wound them, but indulging these thoughts in my head makes the transactions less clean. The other person often goes about feeling condemned and has no apparent reason or recourse to address the affront.
My thoughts affect others!
If only the mind were a sealed vault—a box that contained and held our thoughts to ourselves. Yes, the mind locked away with no one to witness or be affected by it. But this just isn’t how it works. I actually wonder how much of what we experience in this world is from the thoughts of others. Just how many of the waves of condemnation we experience come out of the energy and life of another’s negative thoughts. Watchman Nee talks about this as the soulish prayers of the saints. He attests to the ill effects of actual Christians praying from the mind of the soul rather than the mind of the Spirit. The results can be devastating.
Ticket to Ride: My Thoughts Affect Others!
I had a dream once that I would like to share. There was a small room filled with people. There were neither windows nor doors in this room, and the people spoke not a word. All that these people were doing was sitting and thinking. They were rehearsing and meditating on selfish thoughts. This in and of itself would not be that disturbing but for what I saw next. This is the kicker. When I looked on the outside of the room I saw demons taking flight and being sent into action. The demonic left the room to attack the very people on whom these thoughts were focused. I know this sounds like a Frank Peretti novel, but there you have it. I asked God what I was looking at, and He said, “All the enemy needs is a thought.” Whoa, I don’t have to actually murder, as long as my thoughts are murderous. And I don’t have to have illicit sexual affairs, as long as my thoughts are lustful. My thoughts have power and influence all on their own.
My thoughts have power
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:28 ESV
You might say, “John, give me more scriptural proof of this.” Many scriptures speak about the mind and its abuses. Here are but a few.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words.
Proverbs 23:7-8 NKJV
For it’s like someone calculating inwardly. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit the little you’ve eaten and waste your pleasant words.
Proverbs 23:7-8 AMP
Why did the man throw up? It wasn’t because of a blessing bestowed on him. The thoughts of the one cursed the food and affected the other.
Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.
Ecclesiastes 10:20 ESV
WOW, that one sounds just like my dream, huh? Demons ride on the wings of my thoughts to affect and influence others for the kingdom of darkness.
The Enemy: My thoughts affect others!
There’s a power in our thoughts and the enemy uses it. A good friend asked me if I believed the enemy could read our minds. What a great question! No, I don’t believe Satan is omniscient, nor do I believe him to be omnipresent. But what I do believe is that he is a legalist and uses the Law against us. God gave power to my soul as well as to my spirit. I am to choose everyday which one rules in my life. If I indulge my base nature to be soulish, Satan will utilize and capitalize on my choice and use it against me and against those around me.
No matter how much I desire to, I don’t live in a vacuum. My life, thoughts and actions, affect those around me. If I hadn’t witnessed the effects myself, I might say, “Aw, come on…” But the truth is, I have witnessed the effects of other people’s thoughts on me and my thoughts on others. Thoughts bring life or death, no matter how I wish to deny their power.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:5-6 ESV
My brothers, don’t be like excitable children but use your intelligence! By all means be innocent as babes as far as evil is concerned, but where your minds are concerned be full-grown men!
1 Corinthians 14:20 Philips
There is so much more to this than a simple post can explore, and I would like to return to the subject in the future. I believe this is too vital to give just a glancing blow. But because it is so important, I would rather shine some light on it now than none at all.
My thoughts affect others – fact, not fiction. And with that in mind, I will answer for every idle word that I think or speak. One day I will stand before the King of Kings and give an account for how I dealt with the truth that my thoughts affect others!
May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.
Psalm 104:34 ESV
“I have witnessed the effects of other people’s thoughts on me & my thoughts on others. Thoughts bring life or death, no matter how I wish to deny their power.” You’ve brought this in such graphic insight, it’s as painful to see as it should be–& as liberating as God intended! Thank you for each aspect brought to Light to dispel its darkness. The Holy Spirit is the discerner of our thoughts, intents & the origin of our thoughts. We live in a world of influence, & soulish thought is its entry. I’m responsible to choose..& the two edged sword… Read more »
The Lord has been convicting me in this area. I have recently had to be in a position of a large amount of service both physically and emotionally. What I have done looks good on paper, and I would say I have not done it with a begrudging heart (most of the time), BUT I don’t feel I have done this service with the love of Christ, Him serving through me or me serving another as if they were Christ. So in one sense we can’t not just be mad, frustrated, etc. (neutral) in our thoughts, but we must have… Read more »
Once again your words have stopped me in my tracks. This time it is in the tracks of my mind and soul. I once read the book about the tongue being a creative force, but it really stems from where those words originate doesn’t it? Either the Spirit controls my thoughts and words or my soul which is not always pure.
Great teaching! I can’t wait for more. Blessings this week to you!
Thank you, John, for calling us to account for every thought, word and deed!
“I have witnessed the effects of other people’s thoughts on me & my thoughts on others. Thoughts bring life or death, no matter how I wish to deny their power. ” “..but to set the mind on the Spirit is life & peace.” And that’s where HE IS. You’ve brought this in such graphic insight, it’s as painful to see as it should be–& as liberating as God intends! Thank you for each aspect brought to the Light to dispell it’s darkness. Ever walk into a dark atmosphere so thick it wants to suck the life out of you?! It’s… Read more »
I feel lot of gratitude to the whole Universe for what I am.The above inspiring article focus on your thoughts and their consequent effects .
SO I believe that we must make constant effort to purify our thoughts in the light of their positive outcome for ourselves and others.
Always,be alert where your thoughts divert you.
I agree Ranjith, it says take every thought captive. To let the mind go free-range is just so destructive. I love Phillips translation of this scripture in 2 Corinthians 10. “Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ. Once we are sure of your obedience we shall not shrink from dealing with those who refuse to obey.” Bringing those thoughts into the Light is the answer isn’t it?! Thank you so much… Read more »
Also you say Satan is not omnipotence but all dead belongs to him and they are everywhere spying on us as we speak. So in a sense he is everywhere like a criminal network.
Of course Satan knows how it works so he can make you think bad thoughts if he want to affect someone he can’t get to. Let’s say he tried to tempt Jesus but did not work then he would make people think bad about him making spiritual warfare
Thank you for commenting! We certainly do have an enemy, the good news is that God says: “My sheep hear My voice, another’s they will not follow.” John 10:27 & John 10:5 We are not relegated to the wiles of the devil. The key is following the Shepherd. Bless you!
I doubt if anyone would believe my experience. if you are with your spouse and a compulsive thought runs through my mind urging you to dislike her, you definetely will, and the feeling remains with you until I struggle to reverse it in my mind. please pray for me. It seems beyond me and i battle it daily.
I will stand with you Alfred. I pray for you to have the mind of Christ about your wife and yourself. I thank you for commenting and reading the post. I hope what I have stated here helps but regardless I will be praying.
I have the same problem and I’ve also found that thoughts stay in the geographic location where they were thought I was wondering if you had any instances like this, or to this effect, and also I hear other’s people’s thoughts that had just been in a particular location.
Thank you for your comment! I don’t know if I’ve experienced what you’re speaking of but I do know our blessing and curse can change the atmosphere. Maybe this is what you are describing. I have a post coming up on Aug 3, 2017 titled “True versus The Truth.” It speaks about something similar to this. I can send it to you in advance if you would like, or you can just wait for it to post on the 3rd. Anyway, thank you again for commenting, I hope you enjoy the blog.
Praying over this one still! Lord have mercy
Thank you for bringing us this word, John.
why people look for control others??
Unfortunately this is the condition of the old nature, trying to be God. Since the Garden of Eden we have looked to gain control over God, man, and matter. This too was the very temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Thankfully He didn’t succumb to this temptation of the devil and now offers us a way out of controlling and into surrender to the Lordship of the Father.
Whoa is me! I am asking the Lord Jesus to brainwash me with his cleansing blood! Thank you John for preaching hard truths! I am looking forward to more on this subject.
Love you, Wanda! Nice shout out to Amen versus Oh My!