Think well…grow your mind.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a businessperson, at-home mother, engineer, retired oil man or teacher—the way you think really impacts every aspect of your life.
God puts a premium on good thinking … how do I know that? He called David a man after his own heart. Quite clearly, God doesn’t have a human heart with chambers and vessels and ventricles—so he wasn’t talking about David’s anatomical heart; he was talking about the contents of David’s heart—the thoughts that drove his emotions and actions—and his devotion to God. (Incidentally, God called David ‘a man after my own heart’1 after David’s sin with Bathsheba; so if you have sinned grievously, your repentance puts you right back in good standing with God! Isn't God good?) David must have modeled this for his sons, as it was his son, Solomon, who said “as people think in their hearts, so they are.”2
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart (i.e. my thoughts) be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."3 I taught this to Dylan and Danny when they were very young and we knelt by their bunkbeds to pray. And I use this prayer of David often both to get my head on straight and also to open a meeting which I will be leading.
‘Do you think well?’ I posed the question in a recent briefing, and then asked you to interview yourself about what occupies your mind. [https://conta.cc/3hNgARg]
Besides examining the thoughts that issue forth from our hearts and minds, we are also taking a look at growing our minds: >replacing thoughts that drag us down with truth (removing a destructive thought and replacing it with God’s truth), >endeavoring to ask good questions in conversations—to increase our understanding, to gain greater perspective and also show interest in others’ viewpoints… Practice listening more. So, what else can we do in our thinking effort?
Grow your mind—learn new things, and improve your thinking by >reading. Currently, I am reading Win the Day: 7 daily habits to help you stress less and accomplish more4, and Forward: Discovering God's Presence and Purpose in Your Tomorrow.5 Both books draw from the truths and people of Scripture and were written in the last year. Often, I read a hard copy and then later listen to the audiobook while in my car, working out or even gardening. *I just started teaching from Forward on Thursdays at THRIVE! see below.
Grow your thinking by reading things out of the norm for you; don’t just stay with your favorite genre of literature. I love to peruse the bookshelves in people’s homes— revealing, interesting, and sometimes inspirational—for my own reading! Have you read any poetry lately? ‘Been inspired by a hero’s biography? What made Jack Welch such a phenomenal businessperson? Why have more than 15 million people read Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People? Why not take an hour and visit a local used bookstore? Read … think … grow.
>Find ways to spend time in the presence of good thinkers. Who do you know that possesses a keen mind? What are the kinds of questions that person asks of himself and others? What is she reading? What motivates his drive to value good thinking? Who are the best thinkers you know?___________________ What separates them from the rest of the crowd?________________________ 6
Chances are, your ‘thinking’ friend stands out because she is not a conformist. He looks at things a little different than others; she is willing to think outside the box; she takes risks with her ideas; he is a visionary; she prompts others to think too …
When Paul wrote, ‘do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed,’ your thinking friend took it to heart! She made it her business to know what it could mean to have her mind renewed. Is he or she teaching a class? It doesn’t have to be one on one, but find ways to spend time in the presence of good thinkers. One more thing—the good thinker keeps his eyes on the goal. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”7
Train yourself to think well . . . Grow to be the strong, faith-filled, creative person God intends you to be as you move into 2021 with expectation of the promise of God's power, presence and guidance in your daily life!
THRIVE meets on Thursday mornings at 10 am in the San Clemente Outlets parking lot. You can also join the livestream via the Facebook group THRIVEOC. 'Information? firstname.lastname@example.org!
1 1 Samuel 13.14
2 Proverbs 23.7
3 Psalm 19.14
4 Win the Day, Mark Batterson, Multnomah Publishing
5 Forward, David Jeremiah, Thomas Nelson Publishing
6 Thinking for a Change, John Maxwell
7 Philippians 3.14