Google+ Followers

Monday, December 10, 2007

What Were You Thinking?!

Ever said that to someone? I've said it. I've had it said to me. And what is the standard response? "I dunno...."

I've been thinking about this whole thing of thinking. It comes out of my reflections on Romans 8. Paul makes the point that the difference between the dead person and the alive person is what they are thinking. Is it a mind that is controlled by the Spirit of God? Or a mind that is controlled by thinking about "sinful" things. "Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit." (Romans 8.5, NLT)

Thinking matters. And what we think about matters a whole lot. I don't think that is news to anyone but how do we shift in our thinking from things that drive wedges in our life to things that bring peace and unity in our life? One thing I know for certain, it doesn't happen without some intentionality in our actions. It also requires that we take responsibility for what we allow to influence our minds.

A couple of years ago I decided that I didn't want to wake up to talk radio or some song that a DJ decided to play at the moment my alarm clock went off. I decided I wanted to wake up to something that pointed me toward God. So I got a CD alarm clock and put in a worship CD.

Changing our thinking is not an issue of willpower. Emmet Fox wrote, "As soon as you resist mentally any undesirable or unwanted circumstance, you thereby endow it with more power - over which it will use against you, and you will have depleted your own resources to that exact extent." (Celebration of Discipline, Foster p.4). It is not about focusing on NOT DOING, it is about DOING things that lead to life. That is what the spiritual disciplines are all about.

Where have you succeeded or failed in changing your thinking?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, what Mr. Fox said sounds a little too familiar. Although I do not have any brilliant insights, I will answer your question, Batmanforehead, about what has worked and what has not. First off, tackling sin happened to me by complete surrender to God and having a complete love affair with Jesus. Nothing I did, really, accept to accept that. All things seemed to slide off the sin slope from there. Don't get me wrong, I know sinful thought way too much. What I'm saying is that the more on fire for God I am, the more my heart feeds to my mind the thoughts of the Spirit ~ and that seems to push out the sinful thoughts. Where's the room for it? ~ until Bam! you are taken off guard and begin a spiral to Romans 7. What do I do from there? Embrace the sinful thought? Most likely, yes. Do I act it out? Not necessarily. The problem is when I am "bored" with or numb to God, this is when I am most vulnerable. All I can say is that prayer and meditation on His Word is my best defense. I notice that the more time I spend with Jesus, the more I honor Him and the less I become numb. He'll draw near to me if I draw near to Him. Jesus made it clear that not only does sin itself put a wedge in our relationship with God, but so does sinful thought. I must become very sensitive to sin and hate it to the point of it becoming something repulsive to me rather than attractive.
Nothing new, same 'ol stuff ~ cling to the thought that one day our fleshly bodies will be replaced with the new and rejoice in that.
That's the farthest I've gotten. Any tricks? Let me know.