Thanksgiving is a healthy holiday, did you know that?! Giving thanks demonstrates Biblical wisdom that actually impacts physical health. Thankfulness comes from thoughts focused on the positive. We have the power to choose what we think about…and we need to exercise that power!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
Thoughts are real things. The things which dominate our mind literally produce physical and chemical changes within our bodies. In our brains, thoughts create emotions which can propel us into speaking and doing. Often-times our thoughts are subconscious; we don’t even know what has been going on in our minds until we feel our emotions—or see the results of those thoughts in the things that we say or do.
Christ encourages us to know what we are thinking and take those thoughts captive for good. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Years ago I encountered this insightful, powerful flow chart that helps me do just that:
Beliefs → Thoughts → Emotions → Words/Actions
Understanding the flow empowers me to heed Christ’s instruction. When I am speaking words or actions that do not line up with the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), I immediately examine my emotions. Those emotions point me back to the thoughts that produced them.
For example, when a sharp retort tells me impatience is riling my heart, I know to pause and seek the help of the Holy Spirit for insights. I ask myself what makes me think this person (or circumstance) is outside of God’s plan for my day. Knowing the Biblical Truth that the events of my
life are totally Father-filtered and that He does not allow what He cannot use for eternal good, I can re-think my situation. With Truth in place, I rebuild my thoughts. I thank God for the wisdom He gives and the patience He shows me continually. Thoughts rooted in Truth produce emotions that are peaceful and pleasant, which in turn allows me to act and speak with the sweetness He desires. Thankful Living becomes my norm!
Do I do it perfectly? Of course not! However, I grow stronger every time I kick out a negative thought and replace it with good. I cannot practice rose-colored, Polly Anna thinking…it is not just an “I need to be nice” effort. It is building my thoughts on truths in the Word, and His Word WORKS!
Are there struggles that dominate your thoughts? Find the Truth that will set you free…and if you need help, we at the Bottom Line will dig with you and pray for the work of the Spirit; just comment or email us. For some fantastic, in-depth learning on this topic, Dr. Caroline Leaf provides phenomenal teaching!