This time of year, everybody’s working on something. Losing weight, getting in shape, making annual plans, cleaning out, organizing . . . something. I’ve been trying to ‘renew my mind’ by replacing negative thoughts with good, positive ones.
I started with this list of adjectives from Philippians 4:8, where He’s telling me to choose . . .
- true thoughts
- noble thoughts
- right thoughts
- pure thoughts
- lovely thoughts
- admirable thoughts
- excellent or praiseworthy thoughts
Renewing my mind involves pressing the pause button, erasing my current negative thought and replacing it with a true, noble, pure one.
We live in the real world . . . we can’t stop negative thoughts from coming into our minds. But we can shut them down and not dwell on them! The best option I’ve found? Gratitude. I think about whatever I’m most grateful for and turn it into a prayer, “Lord, I am so grateful you adopted me into your family.” “Jesus, thank you for letting me be born in such a great country.” “Father, thank you for giving me such a healthy, caring wife.” Before I know it, the negative stuff leaves my mind, and I’ve been lifted up.
Can you see how important words are? Our words connote thoughts since our thoughts usually come out in what we say. I love Matthew 15:11, where Jesus explains how important our words are. He says, “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
I made a new friend a couple weekends ago, a guy named Bob Bardwell who leads a Christian camp in Minnesota called Ironwood Springs. Bob is one of the most fascinating Jesus-followers I’ve met. Just before leaving, he told me he wants to do a better job of managing what he says. “Regi,” Bob said, “my goal for 2018 is for all my words to be true, kind, and necessary.”
I’ve entirely ripped off Bob’s goal. Imagine the peace of a day when you can continuously renew your mind. How cool would it be if in every relationship, conversation, and writing, we used words that were true, kind, and necessary?
Scripture: A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45)
Mentor Tip: The mentor who talks the most is probably the least effective. Listen more and speak only necessary words.