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Youth Messenger Online Edition

The Chemistry of Thought
Adapted from an article by M. A. Loper
M. A. Loper

In the laboratory of nature, both liquids and solids are made up of molecules. These molecules consist of atoms of various elements combined in certain definite proportions. For example, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen combine to form one molecule of oxide of hydrogen—or water—shown by the familiar symbol H2O. Two atoms of hydgrogen and two of oxygen combine to form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a powerful germ killer. Some substances combine in such proportions as to form deadly poisons and powerful explosives.

Few people make a thorough study of natural chemistry, but in the laboratory of thought every human being can be a student. Each brain has its own natural combinations, and only the great Master Chemist is able to wipe out that which is evil. The menstruum (the medium in which a substance is dissolved) of divine grace will dissolve all the solids of sin; for God has promised to take away the stony heart.

In natural chemistry, fire is used to purge the dross, and filtering paper to separate the sediment. So in mental chemistry, the Spirit of God will consume the dross of sin, and His love will separate the smallest sediment of evil. The Master Chemist has committed to us the symbols of heaven, and has instructed us just how to combine them in the formation of a beautiful character. But the trouble is, too often we deliberately permit wrong combinations in the laboratory of thought, and as a result our mental equations are out of harmony with those of heaven. The reaction of our selfish mixtures is destructive to the test tube of patience, and we tend to become discouraged over our failures. How natural it is to feel that we are being snubbed or unappreciated, that others do not pay us the respect which we feel our importance deserves. How easy it is to permit a few molecules of jealousy to combine with a like proportion of self-esteem and, before we realize it, to find that there is formed in the mind the deadly poison of hatred, which, if permitted to remain, will penetrate the entire being, and accomplish its ultimate ruin.

“Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts” (Matthew 15:19); and oh, how deadly are their combinations! From these come all the results of sin. And yet in the laboratory of human minds is constantly being worked out the long list of dreadful experiments whose results are seen in the many forms of evil all around us. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).

How different the combinations formed in the mental laboratory of him who chooses only elements as are found in the laboratory of heaven: “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).

In that mind which keeps in store only such elements as these, no poisonous nor explosive reactions can occur. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind [thought] is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

Humanity today needs a hefty dose of the oil of sympathy, the tonic of faith, and the stimulant of hope. And he whose thoughts are all combined in the mortar of love, pulverized with the pestle of self-sacrifice, and liquiefied by efficacy of fervent prayer, will be able to provide a truly vitalizing tonic to all about him.

How beautiful the life of that youth whose mind is filled with beautiful thoughts. One can judge of the inner workings of such a mind from the outward signs of loving service to others. What a halo of happiness surrounds his pathway from morning till night! And how sweet the thought that he “shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels” (Malachi 3:17).

Young friends, look well to the chemistry of your thoughts. Be sure to avoid the very appearance of evil. Give no storage to such dangerous mental chemicals as selfishness, hatred, variance, strife, emulation, and envy, but keep constantly on hand a good supply of “love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23). “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).