Watch your thoughts, for they become words;
watch your words, for they become actions;
watch your actions, for they become habits;
watch your habits, for they become your character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Psychologists say that approximately 75% of our thoughts are negative…
and although that may seem like a high number, I have seen in my own life that, as I become more “mindfully aware” of my moment-by-moment thoughts, there are many more thoughts about not being good enough, smart enough, or strong enough (mentally and physically).
So, are some people wired to worry? Yes, to some degree…
and if we understand our God-given temperament and how our life’s experiences shape our thought processes, we can overcome much of our negative thought patterns (with the help of mindfully meditating on the Word of God.)
A recent study by Jason Moser and his colleagues at Michigan State University, published in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology have found brain markers that distinguish negative thinkers from positive thinkers. Their research suggests that there are in fact positive and negative people in the world. In their experiments, they found that people who tend to worry showed a paradoxical backfiring effect in their brains when asked to decrease their negative emotions, which Moser said, “…suggests they have a really hard time putting a positive spin on difficult situations and actually make their negative emotions worse, even when they are asked to think positively.”
Look in Your Heart
For years now, I have studied the heart from the Word of God, and I have seen the word kardia to mean the place where the spirit and soul meet. If we inherently believe in Christ and the regeneration of the mind, we are allowing Him to shepherd our hearts each day. The Psalmist David said, “I hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
I don’t think most people get up in the morning with the intention of messing up their lives. Because we have not been taught how to “look in our hearts,” we struggle with making the right decisions and essentially become “ineffective.”
There is an interesting Scripture in Ephesians 1:18-21, in which Paul is speaking to believers.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
Learning to ‘See’ in Your Heart
Focus, if you will with me, on the people to whom Paul is speaking here — believers. He is asking for our hearts to be enlightened. The word enlightened used here is where we get the word “photograph” from. In other words, Paul is asking us to “see” in our Hearts (where spirit and soul meet), what God’s glorious inheritance is. This is not just an intellectual truth but also one that will reflect a complete picture in our intellect, emotions, and will. If we are able to picture ourselves using this strength and power referred to here in these verses, this “enlightenment” will help us to overcome in these areas:
- not sabotaging what we say we want
- overcoming past bad decisions and failures
- not obsessing on the past
- overcoming procrastination
- improving our relationships
- bringing passion and purpose
- breaking misconceptions we have carried since childhood …the lies we believed.
Let’s look at another Scripture which shows the picture of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists” (yet), but as we paint the picture, it will come.
Breaking the Impact of Limiting Lies
God has wired us to be very creative beings. We are all creative in different ways, but we can all practice the principles of “right thinking”. It will be like any other thing in which we train ourselves. As we break the impact of “limiting lies” and replace them with God’s Truth — that we are Fearfully and Wonderfully made — we will begin to “see the picture” of what life could look like.
I would like for you to look at a Scripture in Habakkuk 2:2:
And then God answered: “Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what is coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it does not lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.
Although this Scripture is speaking prophetically of Jesus and His coming, it also lays a key principal of making a plan, writing it down (a picture), and then watching it come into fruition.
As you begin to mindfully meditate on your life and begin to live it with intention and purpose, His plan for you will increase, and you will begin to feel hope, joy, and peace fill your heart.
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