Do you think well? Romans 1.20...12.2
Does your thinking hold you down, hold you back, make you anxious or depressed? Hmmm. Thoughts to consider.
We are born with these most incredible God-created brains, the capacity to think well, dream big, and grow far beyond the mediocrity for which most of us settle. Yet we can be held captive by our thinking.
Do you think well? Weak thinking leaves us vulnerable, easily influenced by external pressures. How about you? Are you easily influenced? If so, toward the good and holy? Or by the world, its priorities--lower thinking? Hmmm . . . requires a little thought, doesn't it? What do you and I give priority to in our minds? Do we manage our thoughts, or do they manage us?
An interview with self is in order to help you see honestly and clearly. What sorts of thoughts are yours? About what would you say you spend most of your time thinking?________________________________________________________________
What thoughts do you have that are pleasing to God? _____________________
Which thoughts are not?_____________________________________________
Paul told those he loved, "do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Romans 12.2. Hmmm...how to do that.
Is it even possible to 'rein in' thoughts of worry or fear or lust, or secondary thoughts like prejudice, jealousy, or envy? I believe it is. The very reason Paul says "we are taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ . . ."1
Ah, then it must be possible! Ask God to renew your mind, to make it like new ... to clean and refresh it. Then determine to spend time in God's Word daily. Did you know that 52% of Americans wish they read the Bible more, according to a new study.2 What holds them back? They say they do not have enough time. We all have the same hours, the same minutes in a day, and can make it a priority to renew our minds by starting each and every day well.
'Okay, I will try that...I will, but how do I keep from fixating on what is so wrong in my life...sick child, distant marriage, sales numbers, condition of the world, World War III? etc. How do I win the battle in my mind?'
1.Start your day with God. "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."3
2.Be intentional with your first 15 minutes. Scripture + prayer = right focus to begin each day.
'But, but that thought train that takes me sideways?' you ask. Yes, I have the same train; I have a huge matter over which I have no control except to pray. I can default to anxious thoughts or I can pray and trust God to act. Stay with me here a minute.
In my morning prayer which I write, (mostly in order to avoid distraction and stay present), I surrender my will to God's. For His ways will always be higher than mine.4
In my morning prayer,
->I thank him for Who He is - my Heavenly Father, Creator, Savior, Shepherd, and Almighty God.
->Ask him to search my heart and mind, reveal to me anything of which I ought repent/turn away from, (I give him some quiet), and then fill me anew with his Holy Spirit
->I pray specifically--that is, by name
--for those I know who are far from God
--. . . who need healing
--. . . wisdom, direction
--. . . favor, protection
->I ask God for wisdom, blessing and favor in my life - for his direction and that I
might hear his voice. "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear
a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it."5. Yes!
->I thank God for hearing my prayer, for the gift of life, health, strength, sound mind,
the Word of God, my relationship with him, faith, hope, love, Heaven!, and then I
thank him for specific blessings, [which come on, we could go on and on!]
3.Finally, be aware of your consumption--what you are letting into your mind.
Exercise discretion. The 24/7 news cycle, social media, porn--all have the ability to
rob you of a sound mind and productive thinking, and into sin.
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."6 What are those things, Friend?
All these things - taking control of your thinking, purposing to start your day with God, choosing to focus and think about honorable things - are possible because as Paul wrote from prison, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."7
A great call to Build our Lives on God, a song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZW4_8_zCBE
We can think good thoughts by intention and God's help,
1 - 2 Corinthians 10.5
2 - American Bible Society
3 - Psalm 118.24
4 - Isaiah 55.8-9
5 - Isaiah 30.21
6 - Philippians 4.8
7 - Philippians 4.13