Updated: Jan 1, 2020
As you think so you are
Most of our ills are centered in our mind. But how can a lame leg or broken arm be in the mind? Point taken. So not to negate our suffering but to redirect our thinking away from massaging it into a thicker lather.
What we mediate on blossoms and grows. Chuck Chamberlain’s A New Pair of Glasses, the Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, and Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind all illustrate this point quite well. How many successful people do you know that ‘saw’ themselves attaining their desire. My cousin staked out a spot at his new un-landscaped home where the new in-ground pool would go. They enjoyed it for years. The power of imagination.
So what blocks good positive thinking? Our fallen nature. The negative mind bend. The basic human condition. Our passive minds latch onto defeating thoughts that consume us. That's meditating on them. Toss in some pain or serious health restriction, or a well-intentioned prognosis and watch them grow. It takes real work to get to some positive sprouts in an environment like that. But it can be done.
Our minds are passive and without any converse input we wind up washed away in the tide of hopelessness, negativity, and settled-for new normals. We need to control our thinking. But how? We know everything happens in the mind first. Right action follows right-thinking. Romans 12:2 'do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind' and Ephesians 4:23 'Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind with fresh mental and spiritual attitudes putting on the new nature created in God’s love' are good places to start.
In other words we need to think about what we are thinking about. When we set our mind on things above, we realize we have been set free. ‘It is for freedom I have freed you. Don't take back your yoke of slavery.’ We need to see it, picture it. But also be realistic.
When I get overwhelmed with too many plates spinning and moving in so many directions, I get lazy mentally, then procrastinate the simple things I know I should be doing. Like the routine chores that occupy 90% of my time these days when there so many more important things I should be concentrating on. So I think. I get so bored with mundane tasks and just don’t feel like doing them. Until I get snowed under the negativity of them.
So how do I get renewed in the mind? That’s what Jesus came to do. Give us hope. Save us from ourselves. By doing for us what we can not do on our own: help change our thinking. He changes us from the inside out.
He gives us truth, something higher to think about. Not so we can be morally or spiritual superior and flaunt it around. But to inspire us to action. To better supply us to handle life here on earth, and equip us for the life to come.
I just finished reading Ron Roth’s book, Holy Spirit for Healing. In it he writes a discourse on the Beatitudes. I thoroughly understood his commentary on them and it fed me deeply. They indeed provided me concrete steps out of the negative pit of my many problems into the freedom of hope.
According to Roth, the eight beatitudes are like rungs in a ladder that follow each other in order. If you know your stories in the bible, he cites specific scenes that illustrate their key teachings with different kinds of healing. The Samaritan Woman at the well with emotional healing (John 4:7-18); the physical restoration of the leper (Matthew 8:1-3); and Zacchaeus’ change of heart after Jesus dined with him (Luke 19:1-9). I spent the better part of two days reviewing that one chapter. And by Saturday my mountain of irrevocable problems were not insurmountable as they were on Wednesday. My thinking had been raised to a higher plane.
Proactive action is the opposite of procrastination. Non-action can quickly become the devils playground. Wholesome uplifting thoughts counterbalance the destruction of our negative spiral. God will aid us to upward thinking if we want it and put the effort in. For me it’s the Bible.
And when I take the time to actually read it attentively and meditate on it, not just think about doing it, the results are astounding. Try it yourself, you’ll be surprised.