Think, Speak and Act
As I meditated on a few scriptures this week the Lord impressed upon me again that what I spend my time thinking about, what I fill my mind with is what shapes my attitude. What shapes my attitude and fills my mind is what comes out of my mouth, keeps me well and blesses both myself and others with either life or tracks in the opposite direction. What I think about, the attitude I have and what I say determines how I act. It is a bit of a domino effect. What we think about shapes everything.
It is so easy to think about negative things. When we feel things are not just or fair it is easy to get stuck thinking about that. When someone wrongs us, well, you know, we can play that over and over again in our minds. When we do not succeed it is easy to think that we are a failure. When life throws us a curve ball it is easy to let our minds take that ball out into left field and pretty soon we are out there as well. Far from scoring the home run we had planned on.
I am so thankful that although the Christian life is not formulaic God has given us instructions and principles to keep our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions in line with Him so that we are able to receive all his abundant blessings.
We do have great power. We are positioned in Christ. The enemy is under our feet. Authority has been given to us. Perhaps as important as any of these wonderful truths is the fact that we have been given supernatural power over our own minds.
2 Timothy 1:7Amplified Bible (AMP)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm andwell-balanced mind anddiscipline andself-control.
How do we keep a calm and well-balanced mind? I think we are told in Philippians.
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things[fix your minds on them.
Negative attitudes are outwardly displayed in words or actions; being negative, critical, apathetic, discouraged, rebellious, impatient or arrogant. Of course we should reject these but they can be formed and fed often times without us realizing it. So the question is what to do when we recognize that a bad attitude has crept in.
I do a great deal of coaching and one of the tools I use is a “trading up “ method. Trading one way of thinking for another until actions change. This is exactly the same thing. When we find ourselves dwelling on something negative, whatever it might be we need to stop and trade that out and dwell on whatever is really true. What is worthy and honorable, loving, kind, and gracious. Filling our minds and thanking God for our many blessings, praising Him and intentionally choosing to exchange negative thoughts for positive ones from the word of God. This practice is imperative to successfully winning this very real battle in our minds.
What we allow ourselves to think about is what will rule us. Last month I had something happen that I thought was unfair. In reality it was. I tried to let it go but I kept thinking about it, allowing it to move my heart and stay in my mind. I know this may sound odd but I was startled when 2 or 3 times it actually came out of my mouth! I never meant that to happen but it did! I had let those thoughts of resentment settle down and get comfortable and it caused me to have a bad attitude which I thought was secret and the next thing I knew it just flew out of my mouth! Fortunately the Lord is quick to correct and I realized I had to do some thinking replacement and do it quickly. Once I did that my attitude changed and my mouth lined up with my new thinking.
When we obey God’s word and fill our minds with His word and praise it quickly displaces the negative. We find ourselves back to a place of calm and balance, back in control.
Proverbs tells us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7).
God is beautifully clear in scripture that our attitude toward life, our circumstances and towards others should always be like that of Jesus. We are to be positive, encouraging, loving, humble and teachable. (Galatians 5:22-23).
The good news is that all God requires us to do when we find that we may have wrong thinking is to repent and do a trade!
2 Corinthians 10:5 “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
After taking those negative thoughts to prison where they belong we simply apply Philipians 4:8 and grab hold of those new noble and lovely thoughts, those good reports and start meditating on them! God is so good.