By nature I’m a brooder. Any topic or event will do, real or imagined. What’s astounding is that until recently I hadn’t noticed the way my brooding was impacting my interactions with others, and specifically my husband. I think all women attempt to read a person’s looks, gestures, and other unspoken communication, but I have a tendency to fixate on those musings until they’ve developed a life of their own. Sometimes my conclusions might be correct, but often I’m either off the mark or can’t fathom the full picture, and I’ve wasted a lot of mental energy and emotion without good cause.
One morning my thoughts were in a rage. I felt upset by a brief disagreement with my husband. In fact, the whole exchange had hardly consisted of a few words, but my mind was awhirl attempting to dissect what it was that he was actually thinking. I was getting more and more irritated as I mentally responded to his imaginary arguments, building my case against him. I was waging a mental war against my husband without him even being aware of it. In the end, I felt awful when he stopped by on his way out, put his arms around me, told me he loved me, and apologized that our day had gotten off to a rough start.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many times my thoughts had negatively influenced my interaction and communications with my husband. I’m usually cautious in verbally expressing anger, but here I was, freely hosting a dispute in my mind. I had allowed my idle thoughts to alter my view of the man I love, without even giving him a fair hearing.
In the Bible, Jesus warns that we will have to give account for every idle word we speak. But I wonder how often the unspoken idle words fester in my heart and put a spin on my perception of reality and my actions. Will He ask me to account for those too?
Ever since that day, I’ve tried to catch myself when I begin brooding or thinking unloving thoughts and to replace them with positive ones. I haven’t yet achieved this new thought process fully, but I’m working toward it, and I’ve already seen the positive effects in my life.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.—Psalm 19:14 CEB