How to Ditch the Maddening Negative Thoughts
They pop up. Into our mind. We don’t sit around and try to drum them up. What? Negative thoughts. They sprout like the uninvited weeds in my garden. Among all the beautiful lettuce, spinach, and kale, those pesky weeds poke through the rich soil. I can ignore them, which I’m prone to do. But the fact is, they don’t belong in my garden. I didn’t plant them. I don’t want them. And if I want them out, I’m going to have do something to remove them. It requires time, focus, and energy. The same is true with the negative thoughts that sprout in our minds. We can be going our merry way, rejoicing in the day God has given us, and then up sprouts a negative thought. It doesn’t matter where it came from…the devil, another person, or the deep recesses of our mind. The fact is, the negative thought is there. Whose responsibility is it to tend to the garden of our mind? Ours. God charged Adam and Eve with the instruction to “Keep the garden” He had given them. He instructs us to set our mind on the things above (Colossians 3:2) and to keep our minds on Him. (Isaiah 26:3) “Keep” means to guard and watch over. So, tip one for ditching negative thoughts is to pay attention to our thoughts. Examine them as I examine my garden. Second, when we have a negative thought, uproot it. Take it to God. Is it true? Is it an honorable thought? Is it even right or have we embellished or imagined it? Is it a pure thought? Is it a lovely thought? Is it a thought of good repute? If not, ditch it. Till thoughts that are excellent. Cultivate thoughts that are worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8) So, after examining our thoughts, ditch or dwell. Ditch the negative. They make us ugly. (“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7) Dwell on the lovely. They make us reflective of Christ.
Lord Jesus, You are beautiful and we want to reflect Your beauty. Help us examine our thoughts and ditch the negative and dwell on the lovely.
Start the New Year Strong with 2020 Vision
“I can see better. Colors are brighter. Whites more white. I have 20/20 vision!” Can you relate to those comments? You can if you have a new eyeglass prescription or had cataract surgery. Seeing clearly is a welcomed blessing. It affects our outlook and quality of life. The same is true for spiritual vision. What is spiritual vision? How can we achieve 20/20 spiritual vision in 2020?
Enlighten the Eyes of Your Heart
Did you know your heart has eyes, a metaphor for the eye of our mind, the faculty of knowing? It does, and in Ephesians 1:18-19, Paul prays that the eyes of our heart be enlightened. The implication is there is more to see than we realize. More to see of “the hope of Christ’s calling; more to see of the surpassing greatness of Christ’s power.” How did Paul know? He’d been “caught up to the third heaven” where he heard things inexpressible. (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) The man once blinded by Christ’s light now clearly sees Christ’s glory and power.
The Eyes of Our Heart and Mind Communicate
In case you’re not aware, our heart functions as more than a blood pumping muscle. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, along with others including the National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health write on, “Cellular Communications in the Heart,” “cell cross talk” and “intercellular communication.” If cells communicate, affecting our physical heart condition, why would we doubt communication with God affects our spiritual heart condition?
Verses throughout the Bible address the power of our heart to influence our thinking and therefore, lives. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” Proverbs 4:23. “As a man thinks in his heart so is he,” Proverbs 23:7. As we think in our heart? Our heart thinks? Apparently, yes. Psalm 119:11 speaks of the power of our heart on our behavior. “I have hidden Your Words in my heart so that I would not sin against Thee.” Yes, God created our heart as a spiritual receptor that communicates with our mind and influences our emotions and behavior. Did not Christ say that rivers of living water would flow from our innermost being, referring to the Holy Spirit’s influence on us? (John 7:38)
How Are the Eyes of Our Heart Enlightened?
People seek higher education at universities because learning is enlightening and empowering. Wise believers seek an even Higher education – the mind of Christ – so they’ll be enlightened and empowered to live for Christ. The more Bible knowledge we apply to our heart through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, the better our spiritual vision. Join me January 8 at “Starting Strong with 2020 Vision.” Get a Bible study and walk with increased spiritual vision and power in 2020. Information below.
Heavenly Father, thank You for enlightening the eyes of our heart as we read and apply Your truths to our hearts.
Women’s Gathering with Debbie Taylor Williams
When: Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 11 -12 noon
Where: Trinity Baptist Church Chapel, Kerrville, TX
Register: Call Gina at 830.895.0100 or register online at https://www.tbck.org/events/. Childcare for infants to kindergarten must be registered.
Email email@example.com for more information.
$7.50 includes Prayers of My Heart journal and refreshments. Scholarships available.