Have you ever said something to someone that you wished you didn’t? I think we are all guilty of that, but the thing is, we should have known that it was going to come out long before we said it because the odds are we thought about it long before we said it. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus is talking about the things the Pharisees say.

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Matthew 12:34 (NIV)

This is one of the things Jesus said in response to their claim that he drove out demons by calling on the name of Beelzebul. He goes on to explain Matthew 12:34 in the following verses.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:35-37 (NIV)

Something we might forget is that none of us are without sin. Therefore, we have evil things in our hearts. Since we have evil things in our hearts, evil things may come out of our mouths. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. Jesus says good and evil men bring good and evil out from the good and evil stored in their hearts. If things are stored in our hearts, they must come from someplace and if we don’t want evil in there, then what can we do?

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

Whenever we eat, food goes into our bodies and nourishes our bodies. If we eat too much or not enough, our bodies are affected one way or another. The same thing happens with the things we hear, see, and do, except those things impact our hearts.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

When we think about this verse, we probably think it’s talking about the people we hang out with. Hanging out with “bad” people is going to corrupt someone who is “good.” However, we can also apply this verse to anything else in our lives. The things we see, hear and do. I spend a lot of time on my own. I could attribute this to the recent state of affairs with the pandemic, but that’s not the sole reason for it. I’m not a social butterfly. I like being around other people and such, but it’s not the ideal situation for me. Neither is spending most of my time alone, but it’s something I learned to live with at an early age.

Therefore, the company I keep is more related to books, films, music, and other things I do than to people, so I’m entirely in control of most of what I allow to enter into my heart. When I read good books, watch good films, and listen to good music, then good things flow into my heart. This is one way I guard my heart. Even when we guard our hearts, there’s still junk that’s in there which is why we have to be careful of what we think.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

When I said earlier we shouldn’t be surprised by the evil things we say sometimes because we thought about them first, I was thinking about this verse. When that person says or does that thing that really bothers us, it means something. The “bothers us” part takes all sorts of forms, and you might not say something, but you think something. The more you think about that thing, the more it penetrates into your heart. The more it gets into your heart, the more likely it’s going to come out. This is why we need to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. This is why we think of all things that are good, noble, excellent, and pure.

The problem with trying to think about only holy and good things is that you’re trying to do so while not thinking about the bad things. It’s like me saying “Banana” and then telling you not to think about bananas or the color yellow. Fortunately, we have the mind of Christ.

For, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV)

Whatever the issue on our mind, we have to take it to Jesus if we’re ever going to be victorious over it. How the Lord tells you to go isn’t necessarily going to be the same as what he’s said to me when you go to him. Therefore, I’m not going to cover what He might say. I will give one example of how the Lord has helped me to turn away from undesirable thoughts, taking them captive and making them obedient to him.

There’s this person I used to know who comes to mind. When they were in my life, they were very toxic and often unpleasant. Whenever I thought about this person, they weren’t happy thoughts. Often, they were reflections on things the person said or did. The types of things we might consider normal. However, I didn’t want to think about this person this way. I really didn’t want to think about them at all, but if they were going to come to mind, I wanted to do something different with my thoughts. When I turned to the Lord about it, he told me to do something simple. Pray.

I didn’t pray to not think about this person. Instead, I prayed for this person. I didn’t look back and say, “Lord, help them because they were so awful.” Instead, I prayed for them. I prayed for them to be saved, delivered, blessed, healed, and encouraged. I asked the Lord to help them according to his will because we all need his help. Saved or not.

Now when they come to mind, I pray for them, and they don’t come to mind as often. This is Spiritual Warfare. This is taking thoughts captive.

I appreciate you stopping by and reading all of this today. I know I went on a bit. I pray this day finds you well.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.