Our thoughts are tricky little buggers, aren't they? They can often turn a good mood into a sullen one. They can create scenarios and expectations that might not really exist. They can turn words from a friend into palpable actions without you even knowing it. Psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, pastors, friends spend their lives dispelling the run-a-way affects that our thoughts can have on us.
My thoughts are what lead me astray more then anything else. I either get caught up in them so much that I don’t hear or see anything around me or I allow them to take me places I shouldn’t go, like into self-doubt, insecurity, fear, etc. Sometimes they keep me from a good night's sleep. Sometimes they keep me from hearing what others are saying, because i am trapped inside of them.
My thoughts have been what has gotten the best of me this last few weeks. With my new job, I have found that some old baggage, that i thought I had dealt with, had creeped back in. I have put words, thoughts, actions and expectations on myself by other people because of pain I experienced in the past. The thoughts that began to stir and build up were beginning to make me isolate myself from people and groups. I felt myself beginning to shut down and it was freaking me out.
This morning, I was reading a devotional by Proverb31.org which ironically was on how our thoughts can determine a lot about our direction in life. As I am reading it, my mind began to wonder. As she is talking about our thoughts distracting us, I am getting distracted.... How ironic is that? I started focusing on a mistake I had made in a volunteer thing i am a part of. As I realized what I was doing, I suddenly noticed the part that i had completely glossed over
"Our thoughts are powerful and require great self control. If we allow them to run rampant, focusing on things that lead us away from God, then we will wind up at a destination we would never deliberately choose. In today’s key verse, God shows us why we should choose carefully what we think about, because our thoughts determine who we are and how we live."Its funny how lately my thoughts and their power have created somewhat of an alternate universe for me, leading me into a world of deep insecurity. A place, that i know, isn't of God. Those thoughts that I spiral into throw me around in a dizzying reality that is not based in truth, or anything related to the love and grace of the Lord. They strip away at my worth, at my hope and definitely at my security.
Romans 12:2a, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Ephesians 4:23-24, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”I think this is the second time in 3 days that this last verse has popped up for me. Makes me think that maybe I should pay attention. The thoughts I have been living in have definitely not be bathed in any sort of truth, love or purity. They have been ones of lies, doubt, and insecurity.
I am a part of a discipleship group. We have been going through a study called, The Freedom Discipleship Series, by Rich Miller. Its been a great study and has really been a strong aid in really understanding what freedom in Christ means. The last section of the series revolves around the war that we fight as Christians with the evil that lurks around us. It talks a lot about how we have to arm ourselves with the Truth of God so that we can stand against the lies of the enemy. Last night as we were talking, many of us talked about how its not the big things that get to us, like death, loss of jobs, etc. It is the little things. The little insecurities we have, the flippant words we say to each other, the complacency in life and how those fester into self-doubt, anxiety, insecurity. I remember expressing my frustration with where i have been at lately. I felt pretty solid about a month ago and all of a sudden I felt aimless and insecure. The verses above and a few others aided in reminding me that I do have to protect myself from the lies we tell ourselves with the Truth God gives us. I am of worth and the worth comes form Jesus. That worth isn't defined by what i do or what i don't do. Its not defined by my income, my professional status, my service to others or even my physical appearance. Its determined by the Love and Grace of God. It has no conditions. It has no expiration date. It is and will be a constant.