Pew news 24th June 2018

You might know this famous quotation: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” (Nineteenth century American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson).  It contains a truth worth thinking about in the light of this morning’s sermon topic: sexual temptation. 

It’s crucial to realise that the sequence can work for either good or ill.  Think on what is evil, and sooner or later evil will begin to shape a character and a destiny.  What if, instead, we do what Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8? 

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things”.   Sow thoughts like these – especially thoughts derived from what God has said to us in the Bible – and our character will be steadily transformed.

Why does it work like that?  It is not to be explained as simply the power of positive thinking.  It’s possible to sow thoughts that are positive, but either untrue or groundless.  To tell a child they can do anything in life – what could be more positive than that? – is not true!  Boosting self-esteem by telling someone they are” special” may be true, but it begs the question, “Why am I special?  Without a grounded answer, that thought leaves us insecure in the end. 

Thinking about the things of God transforms us because it is the well-grounded truth.  More than that, it’s living truth.  The Bible not only describes Jesus, the Holy Spirit uses it’s teaching to form Jesus’ character in us. 


Real change and lasting victory in any area of life – including the sexual area – Involves reading this transforming truth daily.  Is it time to take the step to form, or reform this pattern in your life?     


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