As a man thinketh

I have heard the hopeful commentaries concerning one who has passed on, in the form of, “I know he found Jesus before he died.” Gratefully we remember that He “will have mercy on whom (He) will have mercy…” {1}

I have listened to prayers and petitions for the souls of those who have departed this life. I would suppose that the departed should have had some say in the matter, and this while they yet lived. When all is said and done, in matters of such importance, it is indeed up to us. All the prayers in the world, by all the well meaning people in the world, cannot help us after this life, if we choose a path contrary to that which is right.

The path we choose will be a product of our thoughts. Indeed, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” {2} Our thoughts will define us. You and me, and no one else, can be,  or will be, held responsible for what we think.

We are daily making conscious decisions which program into our brain, and into our very being, making us who we are, and who we are yet to become. We shall become what we think, minute upon minute, and hour upon hour, and day after day, for our thoughts will translate into action. With every act we are forging our character. Our thoughts will either lift our eyes to Heaven, or pull us in the opposite direction.

In our new found role as mental and moral weaklings, we have become a nation quick to worship from Sunday to Sunday, with little or nothing in between. We may have found Jesus, but we keep Him hidden, for our actions little reflect His influence.

And yes, we may be able to say at the last minute that we have found Jesus, but what sort of person is He looking at? Who have we become? Rather then a dubious death bed repentance, is it not better if the repentance process begins soon enough to give time for the process of cleansing?  Are we not mocking God by supposing that on our death bed we can proclaim the name of Jesus, and the slate will be wiped clean?

We would do well to realize that our very thoughts will cross the veil with us. {3}  If through the process of repentance our garments have not been scrubbed clean, we will be akin to the man approaching the stately mansion after crossing a muddy bog; because of the mud clinging to his shoes and clothes he will be loathe to enter in. Job asked the question, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” {4} No, not one, save there is genuine and pure repentance.

When we go before our Maker to view with Him the scenes of our life replayed, it shall be either a joyous privilege, or a grievous burden. Sincere repentance now can make the meeting a joyous one. Privilege or burden, the meeting will be One on one.

Yes, the time to begin making needed changes is now, while Jesus may be found. Though the process of repentance is a difficult one, He will be with us, and help us every step of the way. And if the needed changes are made now, though they may grieve, our loved ones will be left with the peace which comes from knowing our destination.

We can and we must change, if we are to have peace of mind. But we will not be alone, if we will but remember to lean humbly on the throne of Grace. He loves us! Realizing His role as our Savior and Redeemer, may we, in a spirit of meekness and humility tenderly intone:

“I need thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord; …
Stay thou near by;
Temptations lose their power
When thou art nigh.” {5}
{1} Romans 9:15
{2} Proverbs 23:7
{3} Alma 34:34
{4} Job 14:14
{5} “I Need Thee Every Hour”