Have you ever heard words coming out of your mouth and wonder where they came from? You have a fire in your head and it just came spewing out.

My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned, then I spoke with my tongue. Psalm 39:3 (NASB)

Recently I have been teaching a Bible study at my church on Philippians and we are concentrating on a verb Paul uses ten times in seven verses: phroneo, to think. Paul has many themes he is teaching us in this letter and how to think is one of them.

Your thoughts are important. They occupy real estate in your mind and develop pathways of thinking that affect your actions, character, attitude, and destiny.

While I was musing the fire burned. As a verb, muse means to think about something for a long time. The longer you muse about a negative thought, the hotter the fire burns. Eventually the thoughts will boil over with words rolling out of your mouth that you wish you could retrieve.

The opposite can also be true. The longer you muse on a positive thought, the hotter the fire burns and will fuse positive pathways in your brain. Now your words are filled with faith, encouragement, and courage. Consider these words from Dr. Quentin McGhee:

Meditation kindles fires within–whether the fire is clean or as black as the smoke of burning oil. Thoughts create moods and emotions. We think about things, and this lights fires in us.

Meditate on the wrong that someone has done to you and this will light a fire of self-pity, malice, and unforgiveness in you.

Nurse a grudge and it will grow into a root of bitterness.

Meditate on sexual temptations and this will light a fire of evil sexual desires.

Think about a friend, co-worker or family member who believes in you and this will light a fire of encouragement that warms your heart.

Focus on God’s faithfulness to you and this will light a fire of faith and confidence to trust God.

Meditate on God’s forgiveness for your sins and this will light a fire that inspire you to forgive others.

Recount past victories and this will spark courage to win again.”

(Prison Epistles)

So pay attention to the way that you are thinking. Don’t allow yourself to muse on negative thoughts. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Don’t permit a fire to burn out of control in your mind.

Looking for more resources? Check out more from Becky on how to empower yourself to be healthy in the way you think: