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The boy sure had learned some choice words, no doubt about it. In the school room, on the playground, and at home, he kept getting into trouble on a regular basis for his rather colorful way of expressing his thoughts and feelings. Making it worse, his friends often pushed his buttons to make him angry enough to sound off in no uncertain terms.

His parents and teachers at school had corrected, disciplined, and even punished him for using words that would make a sailor feel at home – seemingly to no avail. But gradually, consequences for his behavior began to really hurt. Finally realizing those punishments were only going to get worse, he knew he had to make the effort to hold his tongue. So the work began. Torn between obedience and habit sometimes he slipped up, but he was honestly trying to reform.

All was going fairly well, until the day ‘SHE did it.’

A young tormentor in his classroom, who had gotten bored with his better behavior, decided that she needed to get him into trouble. So, she set about making fun of his appearance, his grades, and even his family. With every insult, his angry face turned red with the effort to hold his temper, and his hands clenched into little fists while he kicked at the wall nearby. But still, he held out and never said a word. Finally, exasperated at failing to get him to yell words that used to fall from his lips like fire, she got up in his face and laughed, “Aw, c’mon, aren’t you gonna say sumpin’ bad?!”

To which he glared and replied through clenched teeth, “Nope, and you can’t make me. But if you could hear me thinkin’, I’d shore ‘nuff get a whuppin’!!

Controlling your thinking and your tongue. Hard to do most of the time. In James 3:8, Scripture says, “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Ouch.

But even worse, the tongue only obeys what the mind is thinking! No one’s tongue just decides to begin flapping on its own. Your thoughts control exactly what comes out of your mouth. Talk about being caught with your pants down!

There are verses that encourage thought control, because thoughts are what truly shape our daily lives. “As a man thinks in his heart, so he can become.” Want a happier life? Focus on things that are good, true, and kind. But stinkin’ thinkin’ is a real problem for most people. And we don’t even realize that is what we are doing.

Try this. Monitor your thoughts. Stop every once in a while, and look back on what has been occupying your mind. Then examine your emotions. If you are like most of us, you have been letting your mind replay heartache, criticism, negativity, or anger. And now you are battling a bad mood or depression.

Stinkin’ thinkin’ does hurt.



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