I was recently speaking with one of the pastors at my church about our church’s core values. Then the conversation switched to personal core values. He said, “One of the things I want for my life is have worship come out of my mouth if I was to suddenly be in a crisis.” I couldn’t help but think of the internal process we go through before we speak. When a crisis, or any other situation comes up, the first thing our brain does is to interpret it and then begin speaking to us. Those thoughts immediately produce how we feel about the situation, and those feelings then turn into words and actions. Most of us try to have a filter to protect what words and actions come out, but in a crisis, our brain usually bypasses it. What we think about is usually what comes out.
I don’t know if King David knew about this process or not, but he understood the importance of our thoughts. Psalm 19:14 says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (NLT). He was concerned about the process and the output as well. Like my pastor, he was telling a God that he wanted his thoughts and his actions to line up with the faith he professed. Since our words start out as a thought, it’s important to guard what you think about. It’s not just our words that are important to God, it’s our thoughts as well. We need to make sure we’re thinking about things that are true, respectful, just, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy so that our conversation will reflect those things (Philippians 4:8).
Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” If we’re going to change the words that come out of our mouth, we have to change what’s in our heart. We must change the thoughts we think. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. The way we start is by meditating on (thinking about) God’s Word. What does it say? Why does it say it? How can I apply it? Going through this process will change how you think, how you act and ultimately how you speak. It helps us to hide God’s Word in our heart and mind so that we won’t sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). If all of our behaviors start with a thought, then let’s pray what David prayed in Psalm 19 about our words and thoughts.