How is your thought life? I’m sure your thoughts are pleasant, edifying, true and God-honoring, right? Sometimes my thoughts get me into trouble…especially when I allow my wrong thoughts to become words. If I’m not careful, my words can hurt others, misrepresent truth and damage my witness. As Christians, it is imperative that we guard against expressing negative or untrue thoughts either in word or action. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we refuse to allow them to be expressed in words. The Bible says to take captive every thought to the acknowledgement of Christ (I Cor. 10:5). The following exercise may sound silly but to help control my thought life I sometimes imagine removing the top of my head and physically removing the thought.  I ask myself, “Is this thought true, edifying or Christ-honoring?”  If my answer is no, I envision balling it up and smashing it against the wall. Hey…whatever it takes, believers must refuse to let any sinful notion become words.

James writes that the tongue is like a fire; an unruly evil full of deadly poison. Out of same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing (James 3:8-10). We can use it to bless God and others or we can use it to curse others. And…while we can’t control what others say or do, we can control our own words by refusing to participate in rumors, gossip and untruths. Like all other areas of our lives, the workplace can be a place to bless others or curse others; build up or tear down; speak truth or untruth. You can be the one who sets the example in your workplace and speaks only what is true. Always remember that our thoughts and words are a reflection of what is in our hearts.  For that reason, Proverbs 4:39 reminds us to “guard your heart which is a wellspring to life.”  

Your workplace challenge is simply to capture your thoughts. Ensure they are Christ-honoring by establishing some guidelines of accountability. Before speaking, hold your tongue and ask these questions: Is it true, helpful, necessary, kind and will it honor Christ? Second, decide to never speak evil about anyone (Titus 3:2). Third, use your words to bless others and to praise God more often. Fourth, always tell the truth the first time (Col. 3:9 says, do not lie to one another). I have learned that if I tell the truth the first time, I won’t have to try and remember what I said! Capture your thoughts…and make today count for His Glory.