Joyce Meyer - How Thoughts and Words Affect Our Health
All right. I've been talking about the power of thoughts and words. And I mean, the Bible tells us that we will never experience what Jesus died to give us, unless our mind is completely renewed by the word, Romans 12. And boy, that was such an eye opener to me when I first started studying the Bible. Because I had no idea that, I had no idea that my thoughts or my words affected anything in my life. I mean, I went to church for years and I was never taught that. And because of being on television, we have a lot of people from a lot of different denominations that come to our conferences.
And so, I always try to remember that not everybody knows what some of us know. That there may be people here this afternoon that have never heard anything like that. You had no idea that negative thoughts can produce a negative effect in your life, whereas positive thoughts can produce a positive, or you don't think you can do anything about your thoughts. You just think whatever falls in your head, and you don't realize that you can not think something if you don't want to. And you can choose to think something that will benefit you. And I certainly had no idea that my words affected anything. I just said whatever I felt like saying, to whoever I felt like saying it, whenever I felt like saying it.
But Proverbs 18:21 says, "The power of life and death is in the tongue". I mean it's, just that one scripture. When we speak to people, we're actually hearing what we say, as well as speaking to them. And the Bible literally says, I mean, doesn't put it in these words, but we eat our own words. That the power of life and death is in the tongue, and that we have to deal with the affects in our own life of those words. So, I was a very negative person, because I grew up in a very negative atmosphere, and I was actually taught to be negative. I mean, my father taught me: doesn't do any good to, don't trust anybody, everybody's gonna hurt you, don't expect anything good because life is just, you know, blankety-blank-blank, and it's not, and so, I just had a very negative attitude. Anybody else here grow up, with just like, you know, your surroundings were all negative, and so that just became normal for you. And it takes a while.
Change is wonderful, but it takes a while. You don't just say, "I'm gonna change," and then change. You do have to work with the Holy Spirit. I'm so grateful for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "I'm gonna send you a comforter". And also, the Holy Spirit is an encourager. And boy, we all need comfort. Excuse me. We all need comfort, and we all need encouragement, don't we? And Jesus said, "You're going to be better off when I leave, because I'm gonna send the Holy Spirit". Well, how can we be better off than to have Jesus? Because he was in a human body, could only be one place at a time like we can. But the Holy Spirit, literally, I can be up here speaking, and the Holy Spirit could be speaking something different to different ones of you. Same words coming out of my mouth, but he can deal with each one of you based on what you need. And I want you to understand that the Holy Spirit is ministering to each person here personally, something that you need to hear.
Now, let me ask you a question: how many of you would... You need to feel better physically than what you do? Okay. Well, I think most of us have an issue with that, and a large majority of it is just caused by the stress that we deal with in life today. And I can tell you the stress is not gonna go away. So, we have to change how we...Life's not gonna change, if it does, it's only gonna get worse. And I'm not being negative, that's just...I mean, things are gonna get worse before Jesus comes back. And I used to think, you know, "If my life would just change". Well, I finally figured out I was the one that had to change. So, get that right now, you're the one that has to change. Your life is not gonna be a nice little life where there's never anything for you to worry about, and there's no stress. We have to learn how to deal with life differently.
And what I wanna teach this afternoon is, how our thoughts and our words affect our health. And I wanna say first, before I do this, I am not in any way, shape, or form, saying that everybody who is sick, it's your own fault because of the way you talk and the way you think. There's sin in the world. There's pressure in the world. There's, I do believe that all sickness is caused by sin, but it is not necessarily our personal sin. It's just, when I read about the way things were in the garden, and in the early days when people lived to be 980 and 950, and I mean, it took the devil a long time to teach us how to die. And we went all the way from that, to at one time the life expectancy for an American was like about 40 years. But there are things that we can do to help ourselves, and we need to do them.
It really amazed me when I put this together, how many scriptures talk about how different things got into their bones and caused them to be weak and even caused their eyes to grow dim. And it has a lot to do, especially the way people think, and the way they talk. So, thoughts and words are very important and if nobody's ever told you that, you're gonna get a little bit out of what you hear here this afternoon. But I have a lot of material on these two subjects, and I wanna encourage you to either visit the resource table or get online and get a lot of good stuff, get the "Battlefield of mind," get "Power thoughts," get "Change your words, change your life," get the help that you need. And it's only gonna come from the Word of God. Amen?
Now, one of the most powerful principles in the word is that we reap what we sow, "As long as the earth remains, there will be seed time and harvest". So, every harvest that we have in our life is because of some seed that has been sown. For example, the Bible says the way you judge other people, is the way you will be judged. If you sow mercy, you'll reap mercy. The Bible teaches us a lot about sowing and reaping concerning finances. "Give, and is shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall men give back into your bosom". God does not need your money. But it's interesting to me that, God could pay for the things that he wants to do in the earth any way that he wants to, but he wants us all to be involved.
You know, God could raise up one billionaire whose life was changed by my teaching, and he could give me just a couple of oil wells, and I'd never have to receive another offering never, ever. But God doesn't do it that way, because he wants us to sow, so we can reap. And you reap according to how you sow. The attitude you sow with, the amount you give out of what you have, and this whole principle of sowing and reaping is all throughout the Bible. And I love it. And I'll tell you one of the reasons why I love it, and this may sound strange at first, I feel like it gives me a little measure of control over how my life turns out. Not that I'm a control freak, I don't mean that, but I hate to think that there's nothing I can do about the way my life goes. And so, this gives me an opportunity. Boy, if I sow good seeds, then I've got a promise that I'm gonna reap a good harvest in my life. You know, if I want more friends, than I need to be friendlier. If I wanna have more love, then I need to give more love away. Once you can see this principle and understand it, the Bible says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
So, you can change. There's a lot of things in your life you can change just by learning how to sow the right kinds of seeds. And every thought is a seed. I want you to get that, every thought is a seed. We think about 6.000 thoughts a day, and if 5.900 of them are negative, it's not too hard to tell why you would have a lousy life. I was so negative when I started learning the Word of God. And I mean, God has changed me, and I cannot stand negativity. And I'll tell you if he could change me, there's nobody in here that he can't change, because I mean, I was negative. My attitude was, if you don't expect anything good to happen, then you won't be disappointed when it don't. And I've come all the way from that, every morning in my prayers I say, "I am expecting something good to happen to me today. I'm expecting good news".
Don't you love good news? I love good news. Well, the devil is on a rampage with the news. I mean, if it's not negative, they say it's not even news. But I'll tell you, there is good news, we just need to hear it. God is doing a lot of great things in people's lives, in the earth. We need to have a good news newspaper. And no, I'm not gonna start it. Galatians 6:7 says, "Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap". If you sow exercise, you're gonna reap muscles. If you so stretching, you're gonna reap flexibility. If you sow mercy, you're gonna reap mercy. If you sow junk food into your body all the time, you're gona reap feeling lousy. If you sow overeating, you're gonna be fluffier than you wanna be. It's not your thyroid. It's not your metabolism, it's your mouth.
Now, I know some people do have a physical problem or, you know, you might be having to take some kind of medicine that's made you gain a lot of weight. But I'm just talking about really and truly, I don't wanna make anybody mad when I say this, but if you don't wanna be overweight, then don't overeat. Just that simple, and everybody's different. To be honest, I can't eat a really whole lot and stay the size that I am. And I had to make a decision about which I wanted, and I want to be able to keep wearing my clothes. And so, I just have to discipline myself on a regular basis. Is it fun? No. What would I love to do today when I leave? Oh, I don't know, get the biggest dessert I could find and eat it. And it would probably make me sick, but I would enjoy it going down. If you sow judgment, you're gonna reap judgment. If you give, you're gonna receive.
Matthew 7:1 and 2, "Do not judge and criticize and condemn others," now, pay attention to those words. "Do not judge and criticize and condemn, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourself". When somebody criticizes you, are they sowing, or are you reaping? Was that too fast for you? Do I need to... "For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out to you again". Matthew 5:7, "Blessed (happy to be envied and spiritually prosperous, with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy"! I mean, there's just so many scriptures that back up this principle of sowing and reaping. What goes in our thoughts and heart attitude, shows up in our bodies.
Now, remember I'm not saying, I'm not saying that everybody who's got something physically wrong with you, I mean, I hurt my back last week, and my back's been bothering me all weekend. I'm icing in between sessions. And, you know, I don't know of anything I did to, except I got on the treadmill and stayed on it too long. And of course, Dave tried to tell me. You know, "Just do a quarter mile to start". I'm like, "That's useless". So, I get on it and I do almost two miles, and then my back hurts. Well, you know, that was just a case of stupid. But I'm a little bit like that. It's like, I can do this. It's paid off in some ways in my life. That's one of the reasons why I'm still here, but it does occasionally get me in trouble. And, you know, Dave didn't feel great yesterday. God raised him up and that was good. And when I went home last night, he was watching sports.
So, I'm not sure how bad he felt, or if he just wanted to watch the ballgame, but... No, he did feel bad, I could see it on his face, but he did get over it not too long after I left. But I don't think Dave did anything that caused him to feel bad. So please, please, I don't wanna condemn anybody. I'm not saying that everything that's wrong, but I want you to be open to realizing that what you think and what you say does affect you. Now, I give you a great example: Dave has just always been healthier than me. I've had a lot of different issues with my body. I've had both hips replaced, I had breast cancer, I could go on and on. But I had a hysterectomy, threw me into the change of life, because I had cancer, I couldn't take any hormones.
So, I had a terrible time going through the change of life, just awful. And preaching the whole time, ministering to other people. Here again, God didn't always deliver me, but he did keep me, he made me able. Like Dave asked me this morning, "Did your back hurt while you were preaching"? And I said, "No, but it started the minute I got down the steps". It's amazing how God will always protect me, when I'm up here. And I thank God for that. But, Dave has always been healthier than me. But, I started out being sexually abused by my dad, that lasted about 15 years, and it was, it was awful. I don't have time to go into the details, but it was just a regular weekly occurrence. And so, I just started out in stress.
By the time I was 18, it was already showing up in my body. Stress will make you sick. I don't care how Christian you are, stress will make you sick. Amen? And we all know that we live in a world today that is just pressure, pressure, stress, stress. I mean, road rage, you know, just even the way that, even the way that you have to be concerned when you go out in public now, I mean, that kind of stuff wasn't, that didn't exist. When Dave was a boy, he said he remembers when the first paper boy was robbed, and what a terrible, shocking thing that was. Well, if chewing gum was the worst thing that you got in trouble for in school 50 years ago, things have changed dramatically. Amen? And so, but Dave has always been easygoing. I've been more... He's always, cast his care about everything. That's his answer to everything, cast your care, and I know he's right, but, I'm gonna fix it.
Now, I'm not so much like that anymore, I've changed a lot. But there was a lot of years where I was like that. I was more tense. He slept better than me, you know, on and on. So, I can clearly see how dis-ease will bring disease. No wonder Jesus said. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and overburdened, and I will give you rest. [i will ease, relieve and refresh your soul.] take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am humble, gentle (meek) and lowly. I am not harsh, hard, sharp, and pressing)". So, I think it's safe to say that Jesus was pretty easygoing. I can't imagine him hurrying. Can you imagine Jesus hurrying?
I read a really good book recently and I know if I read a book, you're gonna call the office and say, what was the name of that book? So, it was called, um... It was a book about not hurrying. I can't remember the name of it, John Mark comer wrote it. So, don't call the office, either write it down, or don't call me. John Mark comer, "The ruthless elimination of hurry". It was a really good book. And one of the things that he said, well, probably one of the main things was that, "You cannot be in a hurry and walk in love". And that's my thing. That's my prayer. That's my goal. I really want more than anything, to walk in love at all times with all people. That's just it for me, that's what I want. I want to be a mature Christian, but I really wanna love people, because they need it so bad, so bad. And if you're in a hurry all the time, not only does it put a lot of stress on you, but you miss the things that God could use you for. You don't even notice 'em or see 'em. Somebody can be hurting right around you: you don't even pay any attention to it cause you're in such a big hurry.
And so, if you wanna relieve some of the stress in your life, just slow down. If you're taking notes, write down "Slow down". And maybe you should make four or five, six, 10, 20 signs and put 'em all around your house, slow down, slow down, slow down, slow down, slow down. Amen? My family teases me, although it's really not funny, it's just part of my, shows how I am. I'm always ready for the next thing while this thing is happening. And so, when I'm half the way home from wherever we're coming home from, I get my door keys out. I'm ready to open that door when I get there. And my daughter takes me a lot of places and she says, "Mother, would you please wait until I park the car before you open the door and try to get out of it"?
And I don't know why I do that, but I've got my hand on that door handle. I mean, let me tell you something, I may be nothing else but I'm ready. One time I wasn't paying any attention, and, you know, we rent cars here and there, and we rent a lot of white cars. And the car they drive me in at home is a white car. And so, one day I came out of a restaurant in Saint Louis, and there was a white car there, and I got in it. Well, guess what? I got in the car with somebody who knew me from television, freaked her out. She's like, "Aaah"! So, you know, I do some stuff. And I wish I had dave's personality, but I don't. I just don't, and a... Thank you. See, God makes me more like all of you, so you can relate to me, you know.