The title of this blog post fits into my pillars of health. Proper thinking and word choice are foundational/keystone elements to maximizing one's health. I have this up there with proper movement/exercise and eating an anti-inflammatory diet while supplementing appropriately.
We've all heard the phrase, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. This phrase could not be farther from the truth. It's a lie, period.
Lets look to some of the wisdom from the Proverbs, written by one known as the wisest human ever (second to Jesus.)
Proverbs 18:21 - Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit - you choose.
The infallible Word of God explicitly says that words kill. They have incredible power. We must think before we speak and learn to renew our minds so that what we think and subsequently say is beneficial, constructive and healthy.
I love Proverbs 16:24 - Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Here we see the medicinal properties that words can have on our physical health.
In Job 3:25 we see an example of a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. Job said, "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. This reinforces the idea that we must be intentional about taking every thought captive and only retaining what is going to truly benefit our lives.
There is a wonderful example found in Philippians 4:8 pertaining to the things we should focus our thoughts on. Paul gives us this directive, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
I think this concept can be the missing ingredient in many people's quest for their health reaching its pinnacle. I know some people who exercise diligently, eat healthfully but still suffer from various diseases. I'm not saying this is the only other answer. There are many factors that can play into the state of someone's health. I'd like to simply offer the idea that maybe we need to address the way we're thinking and speaking.
I think it's important to be aware of the things going on around us. Being informed about the news is important, especially so we can pray and offer appropriate support in whatever ways necessary. However, I think there's a sweet spot when it comes to being in tune with the news and media. Too much of it can lead to oppressive and negative thoughts and overall feelings of gloom.
My favorite way to cultivate healthy thinking habits is to start my day in the Bible. I enjoy spending time reading God's word, praising Jesus, offering prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of petition and ultimately developing a more intimate relationship with my Creator. There is so much liberation that can come when we realize that Jesus offers for us to yoke up with him because his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Other great ways of accomplishing healthy thoughts and words can stem from being involved in a small group at church. This is so important because we are designed to be in relationship with others. These small groups can be amazing opportunities to open up, share what's on your heart, get and offer prayer, grow closer to God and develop friendships. Listening to worship music can orient our minds on the Lord and can allow us to reflect on his goodness, love, mercy, compassion and deep desire he has for us all. Another wonderful way to think and speak constructively would be to start each day writing out a list of things you're thankful for. Starting our day with gratitude sets the stage for a joy-filled day.
I encourage and challenge you to intentionally enforce a method, perhaps listed above or one of your own, to maximize the way you think and speak. This may be a solution to the enigmatic puzzle of health challenges you have been experiencing.
Dr. Seamus Allen