I recently read a thought provoking statement: “Those things that control our thoughts will control our actions. The truth remains that different factors influence how we process our thoughts and live our lives.
For example, our jobs will typically tell us when to arrive at and leave work. Our income will either allow or limit what we want or purchase. Our health status will affect our physical ability or inability AND our attitudes will play a key role and impact our behavior and actions.
You see what we think impacts how we live our lives and it affects the people around us. But changing our thought life can be a complicated matter. But why is this so hard to change?
Patterns of thinking are deeply embedded in our traditions, habits and even our DNA. The renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) is a life long process. For some of us, walking the journey of our thought transformation and mind renewal, may be discouraging and even cause us to want to give up. For some the pattern is: we try – fail – try again – fail – we then give up, after all “what’s the use of trying if I’m going to fail again?”
Changing our thoughts and thus our lives, is indeed a process and it starts as we acknowledge there are some particular things that shape our actions and control our responses.
Some limiting factors
Ambition, greed, power and recognition all play a key role in how we live our lives and can have a stifling effect on our growth. For example, living beyond our means but thinking we can afford things we “want” will put us in a negative financial situation. It starts with the thought of wanting more, but it does not end there. Buying what we cannot afford will usually lead to more of the same behavior and potentially derail our progress for growth. The unexpected debt incurred may not allow us to purchase the car we need or the house we could use to better manage a growing family.
Public opinion and what others think of us can highly affect the outcome of many situations in our lives and be a factor in whether we step out in faith or not. God has placed in each of us talents and abilities, which we may or may not use if the voices in our heads tell us someone else is more talented or think that people may not appreciate what we have to give. I wonder how many blessings have not been received or promotions given because of fear, rejection or the fear of rejection. It pays to step out, in the end if we sink, Jesus is always there and will help us not to drown. (Matthews 14:25-31)
When God called Moses to go before the king of Egypt to tell him to let His people go, Moses’ responses (or excuses) had a limiting impact on what he thought he could accomplish. These thoughts and beliefs had negative power over him (such as fear, rejection and his stuttering problem) and they do over us also. We face the same when our thoughts limit our ability to accomplish goals and realize the potential for greatness that God has placed in each of us.
A few practical tips
The Bible encourages us to be transformed by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). For those who have begun this walk, it is a lengthy process. It requires us to check our thoughts, analyze and transform them based on what God thinks and says about us and not our own feelings. It is then that we can release thoughts into words and actions. Our parents/upbringing, friends, bosses, leaders and pastors all contribute to who we are and how we act, but God has the final word. We need to take time to be transformed and become overcomers.
As stated earlier, fear, rejection and fear of rejection play a role in how we see the world around us. Thoughts stemming from fear and rejection distort what we believe about ourselves, others and the actions we want to take. They threaten the quality of our lives in ways we couldn’t expect. Such thoughts paralyze us and are lies that need to be cast down and destroyed (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” (NKJV)
When fear, rejection and the like make suggestions, learn to go with what God thinks of you and not the lies you hear in your head.
Read the Word and believe what God says about you. Feelings are temporary and fleeting. Heaven and earth will pass away, thoughts, feelings and emotions will pass away, man’s opinions will pass away, but God’s Word WILL remain. (Matthew 24:35)
We must strive to lead a positive life, staying away from negative thoughts and yes, sometimes even people. As someone said, “a negative mind will never us a positive life” and neither will negative toxic people. Choose well who you invest your time with.
What thoughts are invading your mind that may be stifling your growth? God can give us the power to overcome these patterns and limiting thoughts, the choice is ours. As He did with Moses, He will place the right people around us and give us what we need to overcome and succeed.
Let’s keep our eyes open for Aarons and wooden rods. 😉
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.