About four decades ago, while doing my A-Levels at Queens College, Lagos, I was always fascinated by a particular line in the school prayer. It seemed to roll off the tongues of all the students with such ease and if the truth be told, it is the only part of the school prayer that I remember to date. Not even the beginning comes easily to my mind. Those words that fascinated me were committed to my memory.  These are the words: “That whatsoever things are true, pure, lovely and of good report ; May here forever flourish and abound.” I was not a bible scholar at that time and so I did not know that they were words taken from scripture from Philippians 4:8, which go like this “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV

In the above scripture, the Apostle Paul stresses on the importance of keeping our thoughts on things that will not weigh us down. It is not possible to have thoughts that are lovely, pure and of good report and still be worrying. They cannot dwell in the same space at the same time. In the verse prior to that he had said to the Philippians to be anxious for nothing. I would like to say here that it is not the case that there are no challenges in life, we know there are but we are asked to not be occupied with them. “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25 NLT We should therefore not worry about our challenges when we have a Father who can sort them out perfectly? The best thing to do then is to tell Him what the issues are and let Him fix them.

Another reason why we must watch our thoughts is that they are just as powerful as our words. Our words are very powerful indeed. The bible tells us this; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 KJV The fact that our thoughts are not expressed in words does not make them less powerful than words. In Ephesians 3:20 we are told that God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” This tells me that our thoughts are like requests before our Heavenly Father.  And that He can grant them. How powerful is that!

For us to have an even better understanding of how important and powerful our thoughts are, let us cast our minds back to what happened at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The people spoke only one language and they decided to build a tower that would reach to the heavens. Decision making is a cognitive process. Simply put; to make a decision involves thinking. Please listen to what God said when He saw what their thoughts could achieve.  “And the LORD said, behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” Genesis 11:6 KJV

My dear friends our thoughts are a tool in our heads. And with them we can achieve anything. It was William Arthur Ward who said “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” I am sure he had the mind of Christ. AND SO DO WE!