Has something ever proceeded out of your mouth that as soon as it emerged you wished you could take it back? Have you ever done anything that as soon as you did it, you wished you hadn’t?
Yeah, me too, and more often than I care to admit! Usually such utterances and actions come when I am tired, angry, frustrated, or sad. They DO NOT come when I am rested, happy, triumphant, or joyful.
Jesus, teaching the disciples said,
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” Matthew 15:18-19 (ESV)
Hmmm. What comes out of the mouth is a reflection of what is in my heart? Evil thoughts and actions start in the heart? If I am going to change what comes out of my mouth and the way I act I need to change my heart. I need to change my inputs in order to change my outputs!
Paul, wrote to his friends in Philippi to tell them how to live out the Christian life. Concluding his exhortation he said,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)
To change my heart I need to really think about what I put in. What do I think about, what do I watch on TV, what movies to do go to, what kind of music do I listen to, what kind of people do I surround myself with?
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians says there are eight criteria that we can apply to our inputs that will change our outputs. Whatever is:
When we apply these eight criteria to our inputs, and put them into practice, that is do them, the result, says Paul is that the God of peace will be with us. Sounds good to me!
It is all too easy to respond to situations in the workplace by saying and doing things that demonstrate our sinful nature. Apply these eight criteria, put them into practice in your life, and with time, the number of things you say and actions taken that you wish you could take back will decrease. Change your inputs to change your outputs!
Join the Conversation
As always questions and comments are welcome. What is the most challenging aspect of changing your inputs in your workplace? Is it more or less difficult for you as a leader in your organization to change the way you respond—your outputs?
Category: Personal Development | Character