A recent situation brought me face to face with the life-giving power of right thinking and the potential destruction of wrong thinking. An individual before me wrestled with a wrong thought pattern that threatened to derail her and her group. Thankfully, she managed to realign her thoughts and live a robust day.
However, this encounter provoked reflection. A simple illustration reveals the heart of my conviction developed over years and years of engaging with this topic.
Wrong thinking lurks menacingly to destroy personal and relational happiness.
If lost on a dark road on a stormy night, aware of my erroneous turn off the interstate, would I just keep driving down the wrong road in the mistaken direction? No! Rather, as soon as I located a safe spot, I would STOP, turn around, head back, and enter the on-ramp for the correct highway.
Wrong thinking lurks menacingly to destroy personal and relational happiness. Yet how often do you and I make a timely effort to STOP and turn around? Over time I have learned to recognize warning signs and make course corrections as soon as possible. So, here are three suggestions I use when awashed with wrong thinking.
1. Acknowledge my circumstances
For a few moments, I pause and calculate my circumstance. Facts, perceptions, and realities all go into my summation.
2. Acknowledge my feelings
Personally, I enjoy the ability to feel deeply, but not when my feelings are destructive. While the way I feel is valid (to me), I know that the way I feel may not be healthy or even accurate.
So, once I acknowledge my circumstances, I then acknowledge my feelings.
After thoroughly calculating circumstances and feelings, I know at this juncture, the time has come to acknowledge God.
3. Acknowledge God
He wants desperately to involve Himself in my life on every level, in every relationship, and through every situation. His resources are available, but as Ney Bailey says in Faith is Not a Feeling, “I must choose to believe God’s promises over my own personal feelings.”
Individuals who have learned to turn wrong thinking into right thinking experience a different and dynamic quality of life.
These suggestion I offer here are not a formula but a process; not a recipe but a recommendation. Why? Because I am thoroughly convinced that individuals who have learned to turn wrong thinking into right thinking experience a different and dynamic quality of life. I long for you and me to stand in their ranks.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture offers a great place to begin the journey of traveling on the right mental interstate:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).
Living With Eternal Intentionality®
“What do you think?” is actually a loaded question, isn’t it?
How would you evaluate your spiritual journey regarding right thinking?
What helps you to transform your wrong thinking toward the right direction?
Who has been a spiritual guide for you in this developmental process?