Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Thoughts and Emotions - Part 3 of 3

Image by Christina Morley
The fact is that whatever is going on inside of us overflows into how we behave toward others. If our thoughts are stirring up negative emotions, then we need to consider what we are thinking about. We decide what to think. The Bible tells us that whatsoever things are pure and whatsoever things are lovely, we should think on these things (Phil. 4:8).

Usually, what happens is that we waste lots of time reviewing in our minds a particularly negative situation over and over again. If we notice that our thoughts are spiraling downwards, then we need to grab hold of them and make a focus shift by redirecting our thoughts towards God’s view on the situation. Unhealthy thoughts bring unhealthy emotions.

When my eldest daughter was just four years old, she began battling with her thoughts. She would ask questions like how do we know when our thoughts are from God and when they are from the devil? Deciphering truth from a lie was especially perplexing for her as she struggled with lots of negative thoughts toward herself.

I had a few conversations with her about it, but I didn’t seem to be getting through to her. Then one day my son decided to try and help her with her dilemma. He was only eighteen months older, but his advice took. He told her that the devil speaks to her mind, and God speaks to her heart. The way he put it was simple enough for her to grasp. Once she recognized that her thoughts were not always telling the truth, and that she could listen to her heart, she began having more peace of mind.

It’s also important to note that the way we treat ourselves is the same way we’ll treat others. This means that we cannot respond toward others lovingly if we don’t love ourselves. The way we treat ourselves has everything to do with the way we think about ourselves. Our minds hold a lot of power.

We need to train our thoughts to be in line with God’s thoughts. We are not victims, and we are not powerless. We can change what is troubling us. Through Christ Jesus, our old thought patterns no longer need to have center stage. In fact, they can be totally replaced with God’s truth by reading the Bible and by receiving His thoughts about life. Through the Word of God, we can positively impact our lives and the lives of others around us. In Christ, we can have peace beyond understanding.

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