I am a firm believer that what we allow to be placed in our hearts and minds has an effect, whether good or bad, on what we say and how we do life. It’s a biblical concept, after all. The wisdom of Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Paul’s letter to the Philippians guides with these words, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” In Matthew 12:35, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” When we take 1 Corinthians 15:33 to its logical conclusion, we find a similar concept. It says there, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” If our focus is on the Godly, our outcomes are Godly, and so it follows that if our focus is on evil, our outcomes will be evil.
One of my favorite authors is Emmet Fox. In his Sermon On The Mount, regarding Matthew 5:6 (“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”) he writes:
Righteousness means, in the Bible, not merely right conduct, but right thinking on all subjects, in every department of life. As we study the Sermon on the Mount, we shall find every clause in it reiterating the great truth that outside things are but the expression (ex-pressed or pressed out) or out-picturing of our inner thoughts and beliefs; that we have dominion or power over our thoughts to think as we will; and thus, indirectly, we make or mar our lives by the way in which we do think. Jesus will constantly tell us in these discourses that we have no direct power over outer things, because these outer things are but consequences, or, if you like, resultant pictures of what goes on in the Secret Place. If it were possible for us to affect externals directly without changing our thought, it would mean that we could think one thing and produce another, and this would be contrary to the Law of the Universe. Indeed, it is just this very notion which is the basic fallacy that lies at the root of all human trouble—all sickness and sin, all strife and poverty, and even death itself.