Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Zion Haste"1 (Lyrics)
Have you ever found yourself carrying on a private conversation — with yourself? Such internal dialogue is normal and often quite productive. My own thought life may sometimes seem to be aimless and fragmented, but I've also solved many a problem or planned many an event while I've simply been musing about something.
Many of the PresbyCan devotionals that I have written have started in the form of a seed thought that pops into my mind at random times. I may see something interesting on my neighbourhood walk, and a thought about a life lesson may then begin to form. I can then expand this thought into a cohesive reflection later on. Thoughts come to mind as I'm drifting off to sleep at night or as I'm slowly waking up in the morning. Sometimes, I've gotten out of bed to jot my fragmented thoughts down before they disappear like a vapour. I've even "written" devotionals while taking a shower. I just have to be sure to quickly transfer these thoughts to paper afterward, before I forget them.
My best thinking time, however, is when I'm simply spending some quiet time alone. I can be sitting in a coffee shop reading a book, when something I read prompts a thought that might develop into a devotional, so I quickly scribble descriptive words and phrases on a napkin before they fade into obscurity. Later, I transcribe my gibberish into meaningful thoughts as I piece together these scribbled thoughts and phrases.
My internal thinking as I have described it is often a productive activity. A free-flowing imagination may be basically harmless, and can, indeed, have a genuine upside. Nonetheless, we need to have guardrails in place to monitor our thought life.
The current expression, "garbage in/garbage out", gives us a good precaution for our thought life. If we fill our minds with trash from social media, television, movies, books, and other such outlets, we run the risk of creating a breeding ground for harmful, unguarded thoughts. What we put into our minds can then be reflected in our words and actions. "What you say flows from what is in your heart." (Luke 6:45b NLT)
We need to stay on guard against unfiltered material that can be harmful to our thought life. The apostle Paul tells us:
Philippians 4:8b – Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (NLT)
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, our words and actions often reveal what is in our hearts and minds. Forgive us when we fall short. "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." Amen. (Psalm 19:14 NLT)
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
Thanks for your “thoughtful ” message.
Thanks for the encouraging words, Gail.
Thank you, Gail, for sharing this encouraging and instructive devotional with us today. Blessings.
Merci for the personal observations. For sure, determining what the mind imbibes is partly a choice. Bringing every thought into captivity is the goal.
Your gentle, insightful, and memorable devotional teaches and blesses us at the same time. You make me proud to know you. I wrestle with a lot of new situations and things I had not experienced for many years. God is in it.
Hi Gail. When I retired, I developed a new philosophy for living. It is this. We are all given a mind to think with, a heart to love with, a body to move with, and a soul to seek God. It is our job to make them all as active and healthy as possible. God bless.
Greetings Gail and many thanks for another of your special devotionals. Yes, it is so easy to let our minds and thoughts wander away at times when we should fix our mind on the one who is really important to us, our Lord Jesus. He is the one who can give us real peace and comfort. Blessings for these writings you do.
Gail, this is a good reflection and explanation of n how thoughts bubble up in the ordinary everyday and overnight times, and the “well” from which they bubble. We must refresh that well with a clean flow of “living water” by the Holy Spirit who speaks through the Word.
Perfect scriptural references!
Thank you for sharing this. It is how it happens with me also and it is amazing how something so simple can trigger a spiritual response. For example, opening the window to let a fly out instead of killing it and thought how God opened the way for my freedom also… a devotional was written. God never seizes to amaze me!
Good morning Gail
I know exactly what you are talking about, sometimes I go to bed with a wee thought in my mind and during a dream or when I wake up it has developed. I too have on occasion gone to my chair where I keep some scratch paper and have made some notes. You are so right we need to think good thoughts.
Blessings on your weekend.
Oh my Gail, I think you must be reading my mind. I just came home from a short grocery shopping trip.
I try not to buy too much at one time, as I push it all home in my trusty walker. So thankful for that as those are my wheels since giving up driving.
I had an experience on the way home, that is bothering me greatly. I won’t go into detail here, as I think there is a new devotional. Maybe this is God’s urging to get me to write again.
Thank you for nudging me, even though it was not intentional. Have a good day.
Good morning Gail,
A great devotional with a great message. I am sure you might encourage others on how to get ideas to write devotionals. I don’t refer to it as talking to myself, but I do wake up with an idea of how to solve something that has been on my mind or something new to try. It is wonderful that you write down your ideas and then form them into inspiring devotionals.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you” is one of my phrases that help to guide me in my life. It helps me stay true to my faith.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom that you glean from “talking to yourself”. May you have a blessed day.
Voicing your blessings helps in moments of depression.
Thank you for continuing to write these devotionals. What stood out for me was “life lessons”. I am continually amazed and in awe of writers like yourself who can turn ordinary occurrences into life lessons and also to relate that to a bible passage.
Also I like how you have to write down your thoughts quickly before they fade or evaporate like vapour. Mine too!