For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7a 

          I was teaching juveniles the class, Thinking Reports, to help them identify problems and to learn about their own red flag thoughts; those thoughts that would lead to actions that would be a problem for them. 

          One young man had written about joy riding. His friends had stopped by his house and they went out for a walk. They saw a car that had the keys in the ignition and everyone jumped in and on the report his first thought was “This’ll be fun!” 

          I told him, “Stop right there! That’s your Red Flag thought!” Then we all began to process his thinking report. When we finished, I told him, “When your buddies say, ‘Hey let’s do this!’ and your first thought is ‘This’ll be fun!’ don’t do it!”          What’s a red flag thought? Imagine you are driving on the freeway and you see a person waving a red flag. To most people, that means “stop!” But you are different! You know where you are going on the road because you’ve driven it many, many times. 

          So, you blow past the flagman, waving a cheery salute and suddenly the road disappears and becomes a drop off! No time to brake or turn. Over you and your vehicle go . . . 

          Unfortunately, my probationer didn’t get it and shortly after his 18th birthday he was arrested for DUI (as a juvenile he was in Juvenile Drug Court for DUI and I was his probation officer) and the judge gave him 90 days in the county jail. All of a sudden, he went from juvenile detention to adult jail – because he thought it was okay to drink and it was okay to drive while drunk. 

          The Word helps to teach us to spot our own red flag thoughts. When we look at Proverbs, we should understand that what we think in our heart, we are – not will become at some future point in time. 

          When we find ourselves in a problem that we have caused ourselves, we need to look at our thoughts. Is there a red flag thought? Something that the Spirit had whispered, “Don’t do it!” 

          So, how do we change our thoughts? 

          Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 

          And where do we find truth, honesty, justice, purity, etc.? In the Word! So, get a concordance, look up those key words, find the verses, and think on them. Let those verses occupy your mind! 

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