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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Toxic Thoughts

"A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones." - Proverbs 14:30 AMP

This Amplified version of the verse above is my favorite translation for this Scripture. I memorized it years ago, and I like to declare often, "My calm and undisturbed mind and heart are life and health to my body!" Through His Word and Spirit, the Lord has taught me that my thoughts can greatly affect my emotional, mental, and physical health.

Recently, I read a new translation of this proverb that spoke to my heart in fresh, new ways. "A mind that does not have trouble causes the body to be well. But when someone thinks bad thoughts about other people, he becomes sick." (Proverbs 14:30 EASY) In other words, we don't have to SPEAK negative words about another person in order to bring harm to ourselves, because even just THINKING "bad thoughts" about someone can make us "sick." As I meditated on this principle, the Spirit of God brought to my remembrance the many times this truth played out in my life - and in my body.

Many years ago, when I was a young wife and mother, I sought medical treatment for severe depression and anxiety. As I poured out my heart to my psychiatrist, he told me that it was perfectly okay to think bad thoughts about others, because my thought life couldn't affect me or anyone else. It's no wonder that this man wasn't able to give me much help, because years later, after I began studying the Bible, I discovered that our negative thoughts CAN do us serious harm - even causing us to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Let's look again at the Amplified translation of Proverbs 14:30: "A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones." Do we need to SPEAK words of envy, jealousy, or wrath for us to experience these emotions? No. All we have to do is to think and feel them inside of ourselves for them to be toxic for us. The condition of our minds and hearts WILL affect our BODIES. If you don't believe it, the next time you start feeling sick, ask yourself what - or who - you have been thinking about. Pray for wisdom and revelation, and allow the Lord to teach you how to cultivate "a calm and undisturbed mind and heart"!

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to discipline my thoughts. Help me to make a habit of rejecting toxic thoughts as soon as they enter my mind. Show me how to continually renew my mind with Your Word and truth. Help me to avoid listening to, or watching, things that have a tendency to disturb me. Thank You that as I cooperate with You in these areas, You will bless me with a "calm and undisturbed mind and heart!

- J. M. Farro

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