When shared with others, our thoughts assume a life of their own.
People who use the Internet or other forms of social media know that whenever we say or put something into writing — or post an image of any kind — it is no longer ours to control. But it isn’t loss of control that is the real problem when that happens. It’s the content of the messages we choose to convey.
No matter whether we write or convey them by a gesture or image, the thoughts we express will impact our lives positively or negatively. Many believe that the thoughts we share with others have a way of evolving and finding their way back to us. “What goes around comes around,” it is frequently said.
When we express our thoughts to someone, we give our thoughts life. We propel expressed thoughts into the world with no ability to steer or retrieve them. Like a stone thrown into still water, there is a ripple effect.
Thoughts that we express have the effect of altering the world for better or worse. Words can inspire us or comfort us or they can hurt us or tear us apart. There is a saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” What an utter lie. It’s among Satan’s best. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of slander or a hateful exchange knows better.
I would like to believe that when I’ve shared my thoughts in the past, what I said was always good and it pleased God. I want to believe that but I can’t: I know better. I’m guilty of having said things in the past originating from anger, envy, jealously, or pain that were not good at all. I’ve lied, I’ve omitted, and I’ve otherwise misled. I regret the mistakes of my past, but I can’t undo them. Through God’s grace, I can be forgiven, but it’s unlikely my words are forgotten by those I hurt.
God wants us to show love, mercy, and compassion to everyone. Not just in our actions and inactions, but also in our thoughts and words.
Through God’s mercy, I’ve learned there is value in silence and reflection before I share what I think. I try to rise above the noise and share only those thoughts that reflect the love that I carry within me.
For most importantly, I’ve learned that not all thoughts should be shared. Some thoughts trespass in our hearts or hold it ransom — and have nothing to do with love or obedience to God. Some thoughts are His enemy’s noise.