I’ve decided that life is not that complicated. It can be boiled down to some simple principles, that when applied, optimize your chances for joy, peace, and health in every relationship in your life.
The next key is so simple it is almost laughable, but it is so simple that it is often completely overlooked or disregarded. The problem is, what we think about shows up in our words and actions. The ripple effect is what started as a thought in our head ends up effecting the lives of others, especially those closest to us.
4. Everything Starts with a Thought
Every great and noble thing and every lowly evil thing started with just one thought. When that thought was held for more than a moment, it led to another, and another, until it became an attitude that expressed itself in words and actions. The good news is, we really do have the power to choose our thoughts. So how do we choose our thoughts on a practical level? Again, this is going to sound ridiculously simple.
Simple Keys to Change Your Thinking
- Use your own words, attitudes, and feelings as a red flag that it’s time to check your thoughts.
- Stop and think about what you’re thinking about.
- Ask, “How do my thoughts line up with the Word?” Then, if needed . . .
- Chose to think thoughts that line up with the Word.
- Do it again, and again, and again . . .
When we apply these simple principles we will see remarkable changes both in ourselves and those around us. I heard an amazing story the other day that illustrates the negative power of our thoughts as it relates to parenting.
There was a father who for no apparent reason did not trust his teenage son. When his son asked to borrow the car, the father thought he’d make it hard on the boy by giving him an early curfew thinking he’d get out of lending him the car. He said “Okay, you can use the car, but you have to have it home by 10:30 p.m.” To the father’s surprise, the boy agreed. All that evening the father thought about how he was sure the boy would be late and what he was going to say to him. The closer it got to the curfew the angrier the father got imaging his son out there doing all sorts of evil things. By 10:15 p.m. he was fuming. At 10:29 p.m., the boy came rushing through the door announcing proudly that he had made it. Instead of being happy that his son was obedient. He mumbled, ” You cut it pretty close didn’t you?” Then, went on to ask if he put gas in the car. In all this, the boy had done nothing wrong, Yet the father by his thoughts had decided his son was disobedient at best. The boy was sent the message that he didn’t measure up. The father missed an opportunity to encourage and build confidence in his son, all because he didn’t control his own thoughts.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 msg
How do you choose your thoughts?