“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” Proverbs 4:23 NCV
What are your thoughts? I came across this verse in a daily devotional the other day and it seemed like one of those “WOW” verses.
Do your thoughts make you happy or sad? excited or nervous? successful or failure? The fact of the matter is that you can take almost any subject and think about it in a positive way or a negative way (glass half full or half empty). What we need to understand is that positive thinking isn’t as simple as it sounds. Positive thinking is a habit that you have to focus on every day. Catch yourself during those moments when your thoughts can’t seem to go in a positive direction. What’s causing it?
It’s not so different from prayer. I never get up in the morning and tell myself “I’m not going to pray today!” But it happens. The excuses:
- Not the right time to pray
- I’ll pray later
- Not in the right mood
- Time went by so fast I just didn’t get the time
Fortunately, there’s the end of the day when I’m laying in bed and nothing else can interrupt me.
You might be asking yourself what’s going on here? What does one have to do with the other? When I pray first thing in the morning it tends to put me in a different mood. My thoughts become easier to control. Sure, it’s good to pray at night but by that time the day could already have been off track all day. Starting the day with prayer and asking the Lord for help and guidance right away can lead to a better start and a better finish.
Tips For Success
- Read The Bible every morning to start the day off strong
- Pray every morning and every time you can throughout the day.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us “Pray without ceasing”
- When you catch yourself with bad thoughts, intentionally stop yourself and pray for God’s help
- Don’t give up on yourself. Remember that God works in His time, not yours. But you have to be committed to accepting His miracles.
Can You Have A New Start?
Of course! You can have a new start every day! Starting over is what saves us from ourselves and Satan. When things go wrong there are many ways to look at it. I’m going to talk about just two.
- You can “own” it, learn from it, understand the ramifications, take corrective action, and move on.
- You can let it “own” you. Then you can dwell on it, let it ruin your day or week or life and be happy in the fact that you will never forget “it’ (if you can call that happy).
What is “it”?
“It” can be anything. Perhaps you said or did something you regret, acted in a way that was embarrassing, interrupted your exercising routine, ate more than you should and blew away your diet. Maybe you broke your relationship with your spouse, child or friend. Maybe you committed to pray every day then missed a day. I’m sure you get the idea.
So what do you?
First, you need to do your best to think clearly about what happened. Take the emotion out and think through your options and ramifications. Let’s start with an easy one:
You are an avid runner and have decided that you want to run a 1/2 marathon so you start the rigorous training that goes along with that desire. You’ve trained for 2 months and all of a sudden work begins taking more of your time so you don’t practice for a couple of days. Your convinced that you have lost the desire and the break in training will hamper your progress.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO? Start by thinking what caused you to want to run a 1/2 marathon in the first place. Is the short interruption a real reason to give up your dream or is it just a distraction? Most likely, you will decide that it was a distraction and starting over is easy. But you have to do is start training again right away.
Now, let’s go to a more difficult problem:
You and your spouse have an argument, one like you’ve never had before. It’s serious because it has been brewing for a long time. Something happened that bothered both of you but neither of you said anything, you just let it smolder. This was an argument that could break up your relationship!
SO WHAT DO YOU DO? Let’s start at the beginning because that’s where things started to go wrong.
- Whatever happened to start the hard feelings should have been addressed then. That mean’s recognizing the problem, owning it and talking about it. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away, it just festers and gets bigger and bigger in your own mind. The more you think about it the angrier you can get and the bigger the problem becomes. Ephesians 4 26:28 tells us “In your anger do not sin, Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” So, the first opportunity for starting over that slipped by was when you went to bed and didn’t talk about what was bothering both of you.
- Since that did not happen in this case you now have to address the anger in a different but similar manner. Begin by understanding what happens if you don’t resolve this problem. Again, it won’t go away just because you ignore it. Even worse, the situation looms even larger than before now that you have both put a stake in the sand and have defined your own side. Not a common side but diverse sides. Someone needs to be right and someone needs to be wrong and both of you think the other person has to be wrong. At least that’s what Satan would like you to believe. That takes us back to #1. What are the ramifications of not owning this and resolving it? Do you want to lose your marriage? Do you want to break up your family? Are you so self-centered that you can’t move to the middle with the person you love? Will you be happy without your spouse? Yes, it’s a lot to think about but sometimes we need to know what the end will be before we can figure out the beginning. Once you know where you want to end up it’s easier to understand your path and take the steps toward starting over.
- Starting over starts here. Take corrective action. Now is the time to talk about your concerns and feelings and find your middle ground if there is a middle ground to be had. Most importantly, don’t go to bed before you resolve your problem and can settle your differences. Or, agree on how to start your reconciliation plan at a minimum.
I didn’t talk much about option #2, “You Can Let It Own You”. This option requires a much shorter explanation.
- Ignore the problem
- Don’t talk to anyone about it
- Let your goals slip by
- Live with anger and remorse
- Blame others
- Focus on the worst case scenario because that’s the most likely result
Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”
God’s Miracles are our “God Things”
I may be compensated through the links in the post below, but the opinions are my own.
Brighten Someone’s Day
The world is in such turmoil today that we sometimes forget there are good and kind people out there who do random acts of kindness!
A friend recently put a post on her Facebook page about a visit to the pharmacy. Her daughter has Down Syndrome and loves cats but can’t have one because her mother is allergic to them. On this day she had a shirt with a kitty on it. While she and her daughter were waiting for a prescription a woman in line started a conversation about the shirt. When she found out her daughter can’t have animals she walked away and came back with two little stuffed kitties and bought them for her daughter. This random act of kindness made her daughter’s day and hers too. It makes me hopeful for all of us.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Have you ever had the opportunity to create a random act of kindness and let the opportunity slip by? I have! Afterwards I think to my self “how difficult would it have been to just ……”. Not difficult at all is the answer. But we are so caught up in our own thoughts that we sometimes just don’t realize what’s happening RIGHT NOW. If your like me you find that’s easier said than done yet it’s such an important rule to live by.
Matthew 6:34 tells us “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”