The Invisible Prison

It has been said that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . .” There are countless studies that support this, however the best evidence comes from God himself as he was the first person to ever use words to produce life. The creation is the masterpiece of God’s thoughts turned into spoken words.

Every time I read the creation story in the book of Genesis I am utterly amazed that simple words were powerful enough to bring about the vastness of creation, complete with all the details, so intriguing that the great scientific minds of our time still cannot comprehend.

Because God is the one behind the thought process of spoken creation, it is no wonder that he gives sound advice and caution regarding our own thoughts, words and the impact it can have on our lives.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

For some people it may be difficult to accept the fact that their current circumstances and direction in life is the direct result of their thoughts, feelings and actions. I for one have struggled from time to time recognizing this universal law that God has built into creation.

It was an eye opening moment after reading a book called As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. It is a classic book that goes into detail the impact of the human thought process, and how it impacts our ability to achieve.

However even though I have had the experience of reading books and the counsel of the bible on this topic, it was not until I began to put the law to practice in my own life did I experience first hand the results of my own thoughts. Let me cite a few examples:

Having been born an orphan and not knowing either of my biological parents, my life was set on a God directed course of both hardship and struggle as well as some modest victories and successes. From a very early age at an extremely abusive foster home I was indoctrinated with negative, self esteem destroying words and thoughts. Such as: “You will never amount to anything”, “You are too black, slow and no wonder your parents did not want you!” “You are going to wind up in prison.”etc I could go on and on. Those words and many other like them played over and over in my mind like a tape recording for years.

As time went on especially in high school my self confidence was lacking and fear of failure was all that consumed me. I began to think with every set back or failed test or disappointing grade that maybe my foster parents were right. I had no reason to believe otherwise.

Fortunately, after being placed into a juvenile home for several years, a few of the counselors on the campus took notice of me and began to see potential that I did not see in myself. They, unlike my foster parents began encouraging me to see what I could become and that I was not a failure and that my future could be redirected from a life of crime, drugs or incarceration.

After completing high school, and upon graduating from Marine Corps boot camp, it was at that moment that I realized that, I did not have to allow the negative thoughts of the pass to dictate my future. After all I was standing proof in my Marine Corps uniform that I had achieved what others could not. I began to believe and tell myself that I was capable of doing what I thought was impossible because of the prison of my mind. That was the beginning of major reform steps into the life I now have.

Perhaps you are struggling with your own self defeating thoughts. Let me encourage you to begin to tell yourself different things. Speak life into your mind and spirit, and you can free yourself from the invisible prison that holds so many people from a life of freedom. God says it best: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Your thoughts dictate your mood and feelings and eventually your actions. I have seen this put to work in my life time and time again, mostly in the area of sin, especially before becoming a christian.

While thoughts have the power to lead to feelings and actions we do not want to do, we now also have the ability to use our thoughts to change feelings and produce actions that glorify God and bring the fruits of the spirit into our lives and those around us. It is not always easy because of the enemy we contend with daily, but we have help, in that we “can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” Philemon 4:13

There are times when I catch myself taking a moment to pause before speaking. I am sure the person on the other end appreciates that as well! Because I am a writer I have a tendency to want to spew out any and everything that comes across my mind as fast as possible so that I will not forget what I am saying. I would imagine the forgetting part has a lot to do with a whole lot of trips around the sun! Just saying.

However I am more than grateful for the times of reflection that allowed me to speak, grace, comfort and a kind gently word instead of the unfiltered torrent of thought that would have made another person feel unloved. Easy? Not always. Worth the effort? Most definately.

Eugene Coghill