Have you ever noticed how subtly a wrong thought can develop into a bad attitude if you're not guarding your mind? For instance, let's say your spouse has a habit of doing something you don't like. At first it's no big deal, but the more you think about it, the more it irritates you. You're getting dressed, and you're thinking,"He knows it frustrates me." You're eating lunch, and you're thinking, "He doesn't care that it bugs me." Then he does it again, and you're thinking, "He's never going to change!" This time you're upset and starting to build a critical attitude toward him. It's not just "that thing" he does; it's him. That initial irritating thought has sunk into your heart and become a critical attitude that can grow and harden. You'll start to measure everything he does through this critical filter, and it will damage your relationship.
The writer of Proverbs says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." That tells us that our life is going to go in the direction of our most dominant thoughts, which is why he also warns us: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (Proverbs 4:23). It doesn't say that "some" things flow from your heart; it says "everything." If you allow the wrong thoughts to linger in your mind, such as an offense or a fear or a worry, they will drop down into your heart and create a bad attitude. Life is hard enough without being handicapped by your own negative thoughts and attitudes. Many of the difficulties that come against you will overwhelm you if you have negative attitudes and the wrong perspective.
If you're going to become everything God wants you to be, you have to take captive the thoughts that are playing in your mind and ruling your heart. God has given you His Word and the power to think His thoughts and to create your life around His thoughts. That's the key. You can't control what anyone else does or says or thinks, and you can't control everything that happens to you, but you can control what you think. You can control your attitudes. You can control the filters you use by allowing God to use the power of His Word to renew your mind, to transform your thinking, and to guard your heart attitudes, and it can start now.
So let me encourage you today. If your life is not going in the direction you want, push your thoughts in the direction you want. The transformation will take place as soon as you choose the right thoughts that align with God's Word.