Think on These ThingsWe had a wonderfully fantastic weekend that included our very special granddaughters. We enjoyed movies, chick flicks (I think Kendall even enjoyed them too) and had roast and mashed potatoes one of their favorite meals. For dessert we had caramel apples and I loved them. Yesterday JoElla went to the Coats Garden Club. It was a fun day with making Christmas ornaments and turkey and dressing. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. And can you believe the size of that sweet potato.

Did you ever get into a situation and find you had been lied to – by someone you thought you could trust – and you find out that it’s YOU! 

You might not call it a lie it might be called misbelieve or an erroneous belief or misdirected belief. Let’s give an example. You might say, I can’t do anything right. You’ve just burned the toast and the day before you added too much salt and now you feel as though you cannot even cook. But at the end of the day you made a beautiful pie and it turned out yummy. So what I’m saying is there is no truth to the statement I can’t do anything right.

What if we told you that we all can change the course of our lives by training ourselves to actually be aware of what we’re saying to ourselves, evaluate the reality of what we are listening to, and simply change what we’re saying – hence changing what we believe.

You might ask yourself how did I get into a negative pattern of thinking. It does happen little by little for example we might say I just can’t be happy until I know that everyone likes me. Another negative pattern comes from – I won’t be fulfilled or happy until I get this job or position.  The truth is what we believe comes not from the circumstances but from what we think about the circumstances of our life. Our information comes from our emotions or what we believe others are thinking about us and we really have no clue what people are thinking. This kind of bad information causes us to think of ourselves and others negatively.

You might ask where do those thoughts come from? Well, we are targeted all day long by marketers trying to defeat the image we have of ourselves so we will improve our image by buying their product. An example of that is a commercial on TV, they try to convince us we are lacking or unattractive. You know, not skinny enough or not beautiful like the models they show us. This is one way we compare ourselves to others. When we have those negative thoughts and keep them and then we put ourselves at a consistent disadvantage in our healthy, positive thinking.

What should we replace our current thoughts with? We do need to renew our minds and replace poisonous thoughts, misdirected thoughts with thoughts of good and goodness (Whatsoever things are true, good, pure, lovely, noble, just, of good report, think on these things. Phil. 4:8). That is such a good list and when we find ourselves outside of this then we must be believing something outside the nature of God! Think of who we really are in Christ – what are the benefits of our sonship in Him.

So, some antidotes to our thinking:

I’m so stupid – we have the mind of Christ 1 Cor. 2:16

I feel all alone – I will never leave you. Heb. 13:5

I can’t figure it out – I will direct your steps Prov. 3:5-6

Its impossible – all things are possible Lk 18:27

Nobody loves me – I have loved you with an everlasting love Jer 31:3

I can’t forgive myself – I forgive you Rom 8:1

Im not smart enough – I will give you wisdom 1 Cor 1:30

I understand all that but now long will it be until I see some results from my efforts. It’s not like at broken bone that has to take time to heal. Once the bad thinking is taken away, it’s almost instantaneous. We reduce the compounding effect, once we start to recognize thoughts that are trying to defeat us. We take it away, fewer negative thoughts are diluted with thoughts of who we really are and then we start to see results. The old patterns of our thinking have to change when our thoughts change.

Really that is the good news. The other new is that sometimes things have to work out that we have caused bad to happen. You know what we have to overcome is what has been set in motion because of our bad decisions that were based on those bad thoughts. Have peace in the fact that we can start to see the end of what you’re suffering and that can be the end of a crazy life.

You CAN change. You may be convinced that you won’t or that you can’t and if you are convinced you probably won’t but remember you can have what you believe.

I have to ask, is this like behavior modification? NO! Our behavior changes but it comes from the inside out. When we believe the right things we move toward behavior that is godly and principled – in the life he wants for us. His thoughts for us are Good and not for evil.

So were starting to see where some of our problems might be coming from. We can recognize where negative thoughts might be coming from and how to start rooting them out. We now start to renew our minds to God’s word and the fact that we are not subject to all the negative stuff that is going on out there – it’s not what he promised us- it’s not our heritage.

But it is our responsibility to change our minds – to change our thinking- no one else can do it for us. It may seem like we are in a battle and all the forces of evil are against us – but most of our woes are self-inflicted.

Half the battle is recognizing what we are really thinking. We can change what we are thinking and we can make good decisions with good information. This will put us on a straight course.