Sunday, October 19, 2014

Overcoming Negativity: Day 18: Think Twice

Today's challenge: 
Examine what's in your heart and retrain your brain.

Do you ever find yourself yelling at people in traffic who can't hear you?
"Ya think you're gonna get in front of me, huh, buddy? Weeeeeeellll...think again!"

We've all heard...and used that expression. I always assumed that it meant to stop before you do something; to think again. Which it does.

But I recently read something in my bible that cause me to "stop and think again."

In Luke 5, Jesus is teaching, and suddenly a man drops down from the ceiling right in front of Him! This man was paralyzed and his friends decided to carry him on a mat to see Jesus. But the crowds wouldn't let them through, so they used some creativity and went up on the roof, took off some tiles, and lowered him down, right in front of Jesus! Talk about photo-bombing! 

Jesus was so impressed with their faith, that He said to the paralytic, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

But the Pharisees and teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your heart?"

We have the ability to think with our heads and with our hearts. We can think twice! 

We are what we think we are. 

I like to say,
We become what we believe.

If you'll pardon my pun, I "think" that most of our problems come from what we think in our hearts. We can fill our heads with knowledge, but what we really think comes from our heart. What we "feel." 

Negativity comes from the place of "feeling," the place where we "think with our heart." 

It's where we store those feelings of when we've been praised and when we've been wounded. It's where we've been torn down and where we find restoration. And it's where we choose. 

Jesus knows what we're thinking, and he knows if we're thinking with our head or with our heart. So examine your heart today.

When a negative thought comes into your head, ask it, "Did you just visit my heart?" And then don't believe the answer, because it will be a lie!

That's right, a lie. Because Satan, the enemy of our soul, wants to keep you on the treadmill of negativity. He can't read your mind; only God can. But he can and he does feed you negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions. He wants to keep you in bondage to negative thinking.

That's why you need to be educated, informed and willing to fight the battle in your head.

When faced with a difficult decision, has anyone ever told you, "Don't think with your head. Think with your heart."? That seems logical, doesn't it? Trust your gut and all that.

But scripture says that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? (Jer 17:9)  

The heart cannot be trusted to give us reliable answers. It relies too much on "feelings" and feelings are just that-feelings. They're not Truth. They change. They cannot be trusted. And if they cannot be trusted, then our heart cannot be trusted to "think appropriately" at all times.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in all the earth, and that every imagining of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5)

We need to learn to think with our minds instead of with our deceitful and wicked hearts. Think about what we know and not what we feel. If we're negative thinkers, we've been listening too long to those feelings, and they have only made us more negative.

If we've been thinking negatively for a long time, we may not even recognize a thought as negative. 

We may need to retrain our brain.

Instead of continuing to think negative thoughts from our heart, we need to learn to think on Truth. We'll look at that in the coming days.

For today, think about where your thoughts are coming from. Examine your heart. 
     Search me, O God and know my heart
          test me and know my anxious thoughts
     See if there is any offensive way in me
          and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139: 23-24)

And then try to see the good in people. 

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day
Liberty (Shane and Shane)

Sharing today with Barbie at The Weekend Brew and Janis at Sunday Stillness

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