What Does The Bible Say About Thoughts

What does the Bible say about thoughts?

The Bible is full of verses about our thoughts and encourages us to be mindful of what we choose to focus our attention on. The book of Proverbs reminds us to keep our hearts with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23). It urges us to think on what is good, honourable and just (Philippians 4:8). Several scriptures throughout the Bible recount the power of our thoughts and the vital role they play in the development of our character and lifestyle.

Guest writer, Ernestine Bueno, offers a thoughtful reflection: ‘We are like what we think. Our thoughts originate from our innermost being, which is why the Bible so often talks about meditating on the things of God and having a mind that is full of Christ. Our thoughts and imaginations will shape our life, how we speak and how we act. We cannot think one thing and do another. As we think, so we become; our outlook will be the same. Our attitude will be the same. Our decision-making process and living life in general will be the same.’

It is clear that the absence of good, honourable and just thoughts opens the door for sin, discord and discordance with God’s plan. We should be mindful of purifying our thoughts. For example, Philippians 4:8 states, ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.’ We can be sure that when our thoughts are controlled by the Holy Spirit, our lives take on a deeper and fuller meaning.

Scriptures on Thoughts

Scripture is replete with verses that aid us in controlling and curating our thoughts. Jesus, who is the ultimate example of one who lived according to God’s will, wrote in the book of Matthew: ‘But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment’ (Matthew 12:36). This is a reminder that our thoughts are not only reflections of ourselves but they will also be judged by God.

Scripture also offers us comfort and strength through our internal battles. For example, the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:5, ‘Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ This passage calls for a submission of our thoughts to the knowledge of God. It reminds us that there is strength in the armour of God and that when tough moments of doubt, worry and fear creep in, we must meditate on the word and renew our minds with the truth of scripture.
Other helpful scriptures about thoughts include:

  • Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
  • Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
  • Psalm 19:14 – May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
  • Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  • Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Deciding on a Thought Life Strategy

The way we process our thoughts and emotions can greatly influence our mental health and how we live our life. Therefore, it is important to cultivate a healthy thought life strategy and put into practice any advice the Bible provides. We must actively choose to guard our hearts, reject negative and unproductive thoughts, and focus on the truth.

This is an example of a simple thought life guarding strategy, explained in an article from Christian therapist and author, Deanna Fenton: ‘Start using “thought-stopping” techniques to catch yourself when you find yourself in the middle of a negative thought pattern. This could be by saying “No” out loud, or maybe reciting a Scripture such as Philippians 4:8…Choose healthy and truth-based thoughts and replace those negative ones with ones that come from Scripture. Finally, spend time in prayer with God and depend on Him to give you the strength to practice a thought-life that is grounded in Him.’


The Bible offers us great wisdom, guidance and comfort when it comes to controlling our thoughts and emotions. We can trust in the Lord, reflect on scripture and make an active effort to put into practice strategies that guard our hearts, reject negative and unproductive thoughts and focus on the truth.

Impact of Thoughts on Relationships

Our thoughts not only impact our individual mental and spiritual wellbeing, but also the relationships we have with those closest to us. When our thought life is not guided by scripture, it can manifest in dishonesty, resentment and criticism. As guest writer, Larry Kim, affirms: ‘Our thoughts have the power to shape who we are and how we interact with the world and those around us, for better or for worse. Positive and healthy thoughts lead to greater understanding and appreciation in relationships, not just with God, but with friends, family, colleagues, and loved ones. This can be seen in how many successful relationships are strengthened through kindness, understanding and genuine care.’

The Bible encourages us to strive to be kind, honest and humble in our relationships. When we choose to humble ourselves, think on things which are true and put the other person’s needs before our own, we foster beautiful, meaningful connections. The Bible also reminds us not to judge our brothers and sisters; ‘For there is no partiality with God’ (Rom. 2:11). Instead, we are to diligently guard our thoughts and strive to think on things that build up the other person, showing them honour and respect.

Power of Good Thoughts

Finally, it’s important to realise that our thoughts are not all negative and destructive. Even though we may be flawed on our own, Scripture promises that if we choose to meditate on the goodness of God, our thoughts become powerful and mighty forces for change. The Psalmist writes, ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things’ (Philippians 4:8). Above all, it is vital to remember that in our human weakness, ‘with God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26).

Impact of Thought Life on Work Performance

As we pursue our professional goals, the Bible reveals insights about how to be intentional about our thought life in the workplace. Our thoughts may reflect what we believe and value, and greatly influence our attitudes and behaviour. Proverbs 26:12 reminds us to ‘be careful about what we think; our thoughts shape the course of our life.’ The way we think influences our performance and will also shape how we interact with our co-workers. The Bible calls us to be diligent and productive, to allocate our resources wisely, and to strive to understand and agree with each other’ (Philippians 2:1-4). By maintaining healthy thought life strategies, we can remain focused on the goals God has set before us and be mindful of how our thoughts impact our daily work.

A thought life focussed on scripture can yield many wonderful benefits in the workplace. It encourages us to stay humble and obedient to God, to take responsibility for our actions and to remain hopeful and joyful. The Bible’s wisdom can bring peace and clarity to our thought life and ultimately, can lead us to tap into the limitless potential for excellence that God has made available to us.

The Action Plan

Living according to biblical principles requires that we actively strive to align our thoughts with God’s will. The Bible offers us an action plan of how to do this. The author of the letter to the Romans instructs us to, ‘not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind’ (Romans 12:2). It is abundantly clear that the Bible calls us to be mindful of choosing and replacing negative thoughts with good ones.

We can pursue this mission with faith, courage and discipline. The Bible encourages us to be earnest in our thoughts and cast them on the Lord for He is a faithful God and He will not forsake His people (Psalm 55:22). As always, God offers us peace and comfort when we remain obedient, gracious and trusting in Him.

Key Takeaways

Our thoughts are powerful forces that shape not only our personal lives, but also the relationships we cultivate and our overall team performance in the workplace. The Bible offers us an action plan of how to be intentional about our thoughts and emotions. It calls us to think on what is good, honourable and just; to cast our cares and worries onto the Lord; to practise “thought-stopping” techniques; to focus on the truth of scripture; to strive to be humble, honest and kind in our relationships, and to remain obedient and trusting in the Lord.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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