“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
Isn’t that the truth?
We especially see this in children. When a child let’s fear get in the way, he may think he can’t hit the ball and fails at baseball. Or what about swimming? It’s hard for a child to swim into the deep end of the pool if she thinks she’ll sink. It’s a self-fulling prophecy. Sinking comes with stinking thinking. That even holds true in relationships.
Years ago my husband shared a story with me…
A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.”What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.
“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.
“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”
“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.
Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.
Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.
“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.
“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”
“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”
For the most part, the quality of our relationships is more dependent on us and the way we think about others than probably any other factors.
The way we think affects every. single. part of our lives.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
James Allen, author of As a Man Thinketh
Wise King Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs and says…
Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.
We know our minds are powerful, but have you ever considered how much your thoughts control your life?
If our thoughts are that powerful… what can we do to control them so our thoughts bring us in line with God and his plan for us?
Using Philippians 4:8 as our guide, let’s look at…
5 Truths to Transform Your Mind
Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.
Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine,
good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
1 – Think what is true.
Daily we have a choice. We can choose to focus on truth… or lies.
We don’t usually think of having a choice in our thinking. Generally… a thought comes into our mind and we go with it. It will take some purposeful training of the mind… but we would be wise to weigh every thought and decide if it’s a truth or a lie. Here’s where it’s important to become a student of God’s Word. The Bible is filled with truths… such as the nature and character of God, God’s promises, who we are created to be in Christ, and so much more. When we know the Word we are able to discern truth from lies…. and then choose truth.
God wants us to have a laser focus on his truths and use them as the standard. When we know the truth we can quickly turn from evil and walk the right path and think the right thoughts. Plus, as we get to know God’s Word, we’ll hear his whispers of truth and be encouraged to keep on the right path.
2 – Keep your mind and thoughts pure
Let’s face it… we need to be cautious with the kinds of things we expose ourselves to on the internet, the TV, theater, and in print media. Protect yourself from the things you shouldn’t see… violence, sexual immortality, and the suggestion that you aren’t valuable or that your God-given beauty isn’t enough. And protect yourself from comparison. Does HGTV cause you to lust or covet “things” for your home?
When our minds and thoughts are pure, we have contentment, we pursue right living, flee from sin, build others up, we speak the truth in love, live in peace and gentleness, and know our value in Christ.
3 – Focus on the good in others
Remember the story where the traveler discovered that his new town would be just like his old town? The way we think and thus interact with others is a game-changer. What made Jesus’ ministry so amazing is that he looked past the sin and failures of people he met. We often get stuck there. What would it be like if we saw everyone for who they can become in Christ? What if we were purveyors of peace.
Choosing to look for the good in others, to build people up, to stop creating standards and judging, seeing people through the eyes of Jesus with grace and kindness is a transformative way of thinking.
4 – Mediate on God’s goodness and character
This to me is #1. God created you and me in his image. When we look in the mirror we see a reflection of ourselves. Spiritually we want to see God in the mirror… not ourselves. The way to reflect God’s goodness and character is to get to know him more, to spend time studying the scriptures to discover God’s amazing attributes and then to seek to put on the mind of Christ and God’s goodness and grace.
We also need to think about his greatness, his power, his righteousness, his holiness, his purity, his faithfulness and his love for us. Coming to an understanding of these things will help us look at life in a new light. We’ll be able to trust him more, we’ll become humble, grateful, and hopefully, holy ourselves.
5 – Develop a heart of gratitude
No matter how hard the day, how bad the results, no matter what… when we have a heart of gratitude we think differently. We see possibility where others don’t, we’re happier, we have peace and joy, and we bless others. Those that have a heart of gratitude have an aura about them. They not only are grateful to God, but they are a joy to be with. Choosing to give thanks in all things means that in every situation we anticipate seeing God at work… and we also anticipate that we will be used… not because God needs us to do something… but because it is the joy of his heart to impact your small world with his big grace through your grateful heart.
Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.
We can transform our minds and control our thoughts by choosing how and what we think.
- Think what is true.
- Keep your mind and thoughts pure
- Focus on the good in others
- Mediate on God’s goodness and character
- Develop a heart of gratitude
Each of us is better at controlling our thoughts in some areas… and we struggle in others.
Pray and ask God to show you where he wants you to grow.
Start each day with a purposeful decision to control your thoughts.
It’s amazing how that purposeful decision will impact the day. Bit by bit, day by day, you will see incredible growth in this area of your life. And before long you’ll be… fixing your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Thinking about things that are pure and lovely. Dwelling on the fine, good things in others. And thinking about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
Which of the five area do you need to work on the most?
What will you do to control your thoughts so you truly live a better life?
I’m so glad you’re here to join me for JoyDay! I love it when we take time to share the good things God has done in our lives. Both the good and the not-so-good.
Will you join with me in counting ‘seven’ from the past week?
Thank you God for…
- the “refiner’s fire.” It doesn’t feel good, but I know you’re purifying me with eternal purpose.
- for reminding me this week how important it is to think your thoughts.
- allowing me to encourage a few dear readers in a more personal way.
- a perfect evening at the lake and seeing a 4 point buck on the path to the beach.
- friends who pray in faith, believing.
- a long chat with my dear dear friend.
- the plans you’ve already made for my future which I have yet to see.
Now it’s your turn!
Please join me by tapping in your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. I dare you!
Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.
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