“What you think is more important than what you do.” A statement (from this motivational video) that challenges me to take action in making sure my thoughts are pure, edifying, considered, purposeful and loving.
We all know what the battlefield is like in our minds, wrestling with decisions and self-discipline. What we think shapes our actions. It shapes how we see the world. It affects our relationships, our work, our purpose, our self- esteem, how we see others and how we see ourselves! Much of what we think about is visible through how we live our lives.
Why do we think what we think?
It is important to pay attention to what’s influencing our thought life and whether it’s helpful OR just hindering our happiness! Let’s say we’re exposed to much more positive people and environments, than negative ones. Those are likely to overtake the effects of the lesser or negative influences because we’ve been conditioned to think positively. We are greatly influenced by what we’re exposed to the most!
‘Self Discipline,’ scary words?!
Applying self-discipline to our thoughts and our actions isn’t a punishment. It’s a platform for building a successful life upon! To help us step forwards, creating good habits. It might not be easy or comfortable, I don’t think it’s supposed to be either, which is why it helps us grow! It defines our character and shows us worthwhile moments of reward and accomplishment!
Self-discipline in my thought life seems like an endless fight to think clearly. To be positive. To make decisions. To stay motivated. Thoughts pop into my mind and it is my choice what I do with them. Do I push it out? Distract myself with something else? Do I continue to think about it, delving into every little detail, every possible outcome? Do we control our thought life or does it control us? Thinking is important. But so is what we’re thinking about! It seems so complicated sometimes doesn’t it! But you know what, we’re in this together, and we can support each other in refining our thought lives!
There is a source of encouragement, love, strength and joy much grander, deeper and more forgiving than each of us can fully understand. His name is Jesus and He has some pretty worthwhile advice for us!
What does the bible say?
The words written in the bible have guided and advised us long throughout the past. They are there as a documentation of what happened, what helped and what didn’t. So, therefore, we can read these happenings and decide for ourselves whether it’s helpful information to us. And whether the words are good guidelines for our present lives and decisions too. Here’s what I’ve found helpful!
The bible says in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Here Paul and Timothy are giving advice to the church at Philippi.)
I think this is helpful because the more we think good thoughts, it actually creates a habitual pathway in our brain! It’s just like a default setting for a happier healthier thought life! Whoohoo!
In Proverbs 17:22 it says a joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
This one speaks for its self. When we are filled with joy, we are more inspired, motivated and good things come from that perspective. It’s a more vibrant and encouraging lifestyle in so many ways! And with a crushed spirit (Who knows we can’t help that sometimes! But we can choose to keep moving forward and not dwell in that hindersome place!) comes sad, or depressing thoughts of worthlessness, shame and helplessness. It’s safe to say it does the very opposite of motivating us!
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I’ll let you think about this one. I’m still learning and so are we all! But it’s interesting that there is a lot of corruption in the way things are advertised or even a lot of common ground in the way people think negatively about themselves and where they’re at in their lives. Often we choose to focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves over the attributes we have. That’s why I find it hard to write out a job resume! It’s so counter-cultural to praise ourselves or encourage ourselves for fear of being too prideful or arrogant. But We’re allowed to be confident! Hey, YOU are allowed to be confident in what makes up you and all the good things about who you are!
Let us endeavour to transform our minds together and bring being happy in who we are back into our culture! Let us choose to control our thought life instead of our thought life controlling us!
Blessings to you all,
Love Jace x