The Bible makes a powerful statement: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. In other words, our inner thoughts determine the life we live.
Do you remember old fashioned movie projectors? Perched on a tripod, they would project light through rolling tape onto a screen. That’s what our inner thoughts are like. They roll out the movie of our lives.
My thoughts determine the person I become. They draw a boundary around my potential. If I think I am capable, I will achieve much more than if I doubt my competence.
God has placed great potential on the inside of you. However, if you doubt your ability or believe you are a disappointment, you will probably struggle to fulfil that potential.
Head or heart?
We think at two levels. We have heart thoughts and head thoughts. The verse in proverbs is referring to heart thoughts. Psalm 64:6 says that the inner thought and heart of man are deep.
The word inner can also be translated heart. Heart thoughts are deep convictions. They are the views we hold about ourselves. These thoughts are moulded by life’s experiences.
If you were told as a child that you were stupid by a teacher, you may still believe that today. It could have become a heart thought. Heart thoughts frame our beliefs.
It’s all in the mind
Head thoughts are different. They come as ideas (often sowed by the enemy) and influence our attitudes.
They are still important because attitude is vital. Also, if we rehearse them for long enough, they too can become heart thoughts.
All too often, we try to deal with our head thoughts without addressing the depths of our heart thoughts.
Who is in the driving seat?
Heart thoughts are like the driver of a car while head thoughts are a backseat passenger. The passenger can say whatever he wants but if the driver isn’t listening, it makes no difference.
As a teenager, I remember gathering a long list of verses that affirmed my value to God. I would regularly repeat, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, trying desperately to believe these words.
However hard I tried, I would still feel inadequate and insecure. It was only when God started to heal me deep down that my heart thoughts started to line up with God’s word.
The way ahead
If all we do is fill our heads with the truth, we will never really change. We need to ask God to heal our hearts and renew our inner thoughts so that they can help us achieve our potential.
If you realise that deep down you doubt your value or feel less important than other people, it will be really important to allow God to deal with the deep issues.