IF someone came up and put a pair of big, bright green tennis shoes on your desk at work and told you they were yours (but they weren't), would you believe that person? Would you spend hours wondering why they didn't fit, wondering why they were green, wondering about your taste in shoes? No! You wouldn't be burdened by them one bit because you would know that they weren't yours. And it wouldn't take you long to say so!
This is a simple analogy, but it points up a valuable fact. Because our thoughts govern our experience, we must carefully consider what we accept into consciousness as being ``our thoughts." We need not accept every thought that comes to us. We can reject the ones that aren't good because those are the ones that certainly aren't ours. For example, if we're tempted to be deceptive or dishonest, we can recognize the temptation as wrong. Then we do not behave in a deceptive or dishonest way. By rejecting th e dishonest thought, we are not punished for it--either by private guilt or public discovery.
We always need to watch our thoughts. We have the right to refuse, reject, deny, any thought that is not good. How do we know which thoughts are ours, and which thoughts are not? In the Bible, Matthew's Gospel tells us that Christ Jesus gave his disciples ``power against unclean spirits, to cast them out." We are his disciples today, as we cast out the ``unclean spirits" of fear, hatred, selfishness, apathy, and so forth. This ability to choose our thoughts comes with the desire to live our lives totally
in accord with God's will: to be His likeness in everything that we think and do and say.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, tells us in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously." And on the next page she urges: ``Exercise this God-given authority."
One morning I had the opportunity to demonstrate the rewards of choosing to accept only good thoughts as my thoughts. When I woke up I discovered that I had no voice. Where I work there were several people who had been absent for weeks because of this condition. Right away, however, it occurred to me that this picture of illness was not my thought at all! It was a mistaken thought that had come to me. If I accepted it, I would suffer the consequences. But I could see that as God's child I was made in His
image and likeness--spiritual, whole, and free. This certainly included having a normal voice and did not include being sick. I realized that I was the expression of divine Mind, God, and that I therefore didn't need to believe that thoughts of sickness were my--or anyonethoughts. Three hours later, when it came time for me to conduct a scheduled meeting, my voice was normal. Every symptom was gone. I had not accepted sickness as my thought, and therefore it could not be part of my experience.
God gives us only good thoughts. If we find other kinds of thoughts trying to govern us, we can know that these are not from God. The best thing we can do with them is to reject them as unworthy and untrue. The Apostle Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthians: ``For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalt eth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
When we watch our thoughts and choose to accept only good thoughts as ours, we are bringing our thoughts ``to the obedience of Christ." And we can only be blessed.