Lifestyle

Thinking Well is the Seed of Living Well

Your mind was designed to be immensely powerful. The mental resource with which each one of us has been created with; is one of the most wonderful blessings that God has given to us. Not only were we created with a immensely powerful mind, but we have been blessed with a free will. This means you have the ability to choose to use that immense power as you will.

You can use or misuse the control over your thought life to maximize your God-given potential. The way we think, directly controls whether our gifts and talents flourish or fade. The question that I find myself asking over and over again is “are you a faithful steward of your mental life?”

The Scriptures clearly teaches that we will reap what we sow. This is such a simply truth and yet it is a challenge to put it into practice. I grew up in Kansas, every child learned that, you sow first and then you reap. It really wasn’t rocket science. This truth is even more important in our thinking.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7 (NKJV). And to even expand on that thought;  “…if we sow sparingly, will will naturally reap sparingly but if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.” (2 Cor. 6:9).

Our thoughts are like seeds that are sown into the very soil of our soul. Thoughts that are sown into our subconsciousness. It is here in the very resources of our being that the thoughts and words that have been planted into our soul begin to germinate. Healthy or unhealthy, kind or unkind, hope and fear are all thoughts that will produce a fruit that is contained in the thought or word.

You can try and try harder, but it is impossible to think one thing and experience something else. You cannot think critically about your spouse, even if you believe it is warranted, and reap real intimacy. You cannot think negatively and live positively any more that you can plant apple seeds and expect to harvest oranges.

If you desire to live a Peaceful, Joy-fill, healthy life —- a life that fulfills God’s purpose for you and for others — you must keep your thoughts fixed on the things of God.

In our thoughts there is no real separation between past, present, and future. Now, right now your thoughts are running through you mind, creating and releasing power into your being. This is the gift of being present.

We all can have a blissful memory and it is experienced as a present joy. A gloomy memory is experienced as a present difficulty. As a result of thinking, talking, and worrying about what you do not want can never bring you to what you do want.

I have often asked, “is it possible to experience joy or peace without thinking thoughts of joy or peace?” And in the same vein, “is it possible to worry without thinking worrisome thoughts?” “Can you be afraid without thinking fearful thoughts?”

Can you remember a time when you were thinking of hope and happiness but felt depressed as the same time? Can you imagine acting loving while thinking bitter thoughts of anger or resentment? The simple answer is “no.”

The writer of Proverbs says, “as a person thinks in his heart so is he” (23:7) and “keep our heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (4:23). These and many other passages underscore the importance of “thinking well.” I have long taught that “thinking well is the seed to living well.”

Jesus repeatedly reminds us that what we receive will be the results of what we believe. He continually points out in the Sermon on the Mount that even to think lustful thoughts is unhealthy. He taught that people are defiled not by what they eat but by what is in their hearts, by what they think, — by what comes out their mouths as a result of that inner sowing.

Jesus told us that persistent thoughts eventually lead to action. Therefore, Paul encouraged us to, “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). I can not even imagine a negative, cynical, self-defeating, or “woe is me” thought being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ.

James seems to sum this all up by saying, “a double-minded man, is unstable in all of his ways” (James 1:8). Being duplicitous in your thinking is the opposite of being mentally disciplined, It’s rather like praying for sunshine and reaching for your umbrella at the same time. It is like forgiving your spouse for a grievance and then repeatedly rehashing it in your mind. It is hoping for the best and secretly fearing the worst. It is the inability to direct your thoughts in a deliberate, intentional direction.

I quickly want to clarify that God’s grace doesn’t demand mental discipline, but living a happy, joyful and peaceful life is precede by it.

God has entrusted us with a powerful mind. If we will allow our minds to be formed and transformed under the direction of the Holy Spirit by the use of disciplines we will be blessed with the gift of the present manifestation of His Goodness.