How we think affects our actions and health. There is a spiritual battle raging over your mind. Your mind should always be in control of your body—your body should not be in control of your mind. We constantly have choices to make. God says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Matthew 7:13). The choice of which gate you enter is always yours. So guard the avenue to your mind in order to make wise decisions.
When you are thinking, you are building thoughts, building your brain. “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Good thinking = good choices = healthy thoughts; toxic thinking = toxic choices = toxic thoughts. We are told in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life.”
“Eric R. Kandel, a Nobel Prize-winning neuro-psychiatrist for his work on memory, shows how our thoughts, even our imaginations, get ‘under the skin’ of our DNA and can turn certain genes on and certain genes off, changing the structure of the neurons in the brain. (In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, New York: Norton, 2006)
“So as we think and imagine, we change the structure and function of our brains. Even Freud speculated back in the 1800s that thought leads to changes in the brain. (Sigmund Freud, quoted in D. Church, The Genie in Your Genes, Fulton, CA: Energy Psychology Press, 2008)
“Our brain is changing moment by moment as we are thinking. By our thinking and choosing, we are redesigning the landscape of our brain.
“Our mind is designed to control the body, of which the brain is part, not the other way around. Matter does not control us; we control matter through our thinking and choosing. We cannot control the events and circumstances of life but we can control our reactions. In fact, we can control our reactions to anything, and in doing so, we change our brains. It’s not easy; it is hard work, but it can be done through our thoughts and choices. …
“Our thoughts produce words and behaviors, which in turn stimulate more thinking and choices that build more thoughts in an endless cycle. …
“According to Dr. Herbert Benson, M.D., president of Harvard Medical School’s Mind-Body Institute, negative thinking leads to stress, which affects our body’s natural healing capacities. Toxic thinking wears down the brain. …
“You cannot control the events or circumstances of your life, but you can control your reactions. And controlling those reactions is the difference between healthy minds and bodies and sick minds and bodies. Here are just a few statistics:
- A study by the American Medical Association found that stress is a factor in 75% of all illnesses and diseases that people suffer from today. (Sheldon Cohen et al., ‘Psychological Stress and Disease,’ JAMA 14 (2007); 1685, …)
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization have concluded that 80 percent of cancers are due to lifestyle and not genetics., and this is a conservative number. (Cancer Statistics and Views of Causes, Science News 115, no. 2 (January 13, 1979): 23.
“Negative thinking leads to stress.” Excerpts from: Switch on Your Brain, by Dr. Caroline Leaf, published by Baker Books, 2013.
God tells us that “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Do you believe God’s word? “Let praise and thanksgiving be expressed in song. When tempted, instead of giving utterance to our feelings, let us by faith lift up a song of thanksgiving to God.” The Ministry of Healing, 254.
“The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death. …
“Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul.” Ibid., 241.
We are all children of the Lord—make a joyful noise unto the Lord—serve Him with gladness (see Psalm 100) and you will be blessed, physically, mentally and spiritually!
Also remember: “If the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong, and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 310.
We are given some fabulous counsel which, if followed, would save us from much physical, emotional and spiritual stress. It is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18.
- Rejoice evermore.
- Pray without ceasing.
- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
If you truly believe “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28), then you will rejoice, pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything.