Tuesday, April 28, 2009

IOW - From Thinking to Doing

Today's In "Other" Words Tuesdays is hosted by Debbie from Heart Choices. She has given us a great quote by Rick Warren to think and write about.
“The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act.” Rick Warren
From Thought to Action
Do you think that negative thoughts, or positive ones, for that matter, really determine the way you act? The Bible says that it does.
"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man" ~ Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)
The Hebrew word for heart is leb. It means:
1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
a) inner part, midst
1) midst (of things)
2) heart (of man)
3) soul, heart (of man)
4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
6) conscience
7) heart (of moral character)
8) as seat of appetites
9) as seat of emotions and passions
10) as seat of courage
The word heart refers to much more than just the heart. It refers to many things such as our mind, our thinking, our seat of emotions, passions and appetites.
When the thinking is bad, the actions are bound to be bad. When the thinking is good, the actions are bound to be good.
"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." ~ Luke 6:45 (NIV)
Producing the Good Things
It feels horrible to be vile and grand to be good. Let's purpose to let our thoughts produce good things, things that bear the fruit of the Spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But How?
I think it requires prayer and action. We need to pray that God will prepare our hearts and minds to think on the good things.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
When the negative things come our way we need to pray about them and give them to God. We don't need to nurture those thoughts. We need to replace them with the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts.
When something is rolling around in my mind, trying to take root, I don't let it. I stop imagining that Steve was in a wreck and that's why he's 30 minutes late. I stop thinking about how someone hurt me with words they spoke. How do I stop? I usually replace the thinking with prayer. I pray for the person or situation. Many times I'll put on some music or get interested in television.
While I don't think that positive thinking will get me a close parking place at Squall Mart, I do think that it honors God and brings good fruit into being. I don't believe that just because I had a negative thought about my self-image that I will be denied my size blouse when I go shopping. Sometimes Catherines is just sold out of things.
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." ~ Colossians 2:8 (NIV)
Wrapping it Up
I think in the grand scheme of things our thoughts do matter and can make us feel good or bad, then they manifest themselves through our reactions and responses in life.
Many people think that the power of positive thinking has much to do with our health. I'd like to submit that the power of positive thinking leads us to pray, which has God and doctor's and medicine to do much with our health. I don't believe we can say, "I'm going to be IBS-free by 2010." I do believe we can say, "If God wills it and helps me find the right doctors, the right combination of medicines and gives me the ability to eat the right kind of foods, then I can be IBS-free by the time that God allows it, not when Laurie Ann wants it." We can think positively all we want, but we must remember that God is God and is in control of everything. It's ultimately up to Him. We cannot force His will by our thinking. Sure, we can be in a better position (mindset) to pray to Him Him and discern what He is telling us, but we cannot make something disappear or appear for us just because we think it, feel it or say/do it. We cannot change someone's heart with good "vibes." Only God can do that. And I trust Him to do it.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
Are you ready to trust Him to help you take every thought captive for Him? Are you ready to think on the things He wants you to think on rather than the things that the world encourages? Are you ready to trust Him and not your thoughts and feelings to be the answer to everything you need in your life? If not, email me at sisterchick1@yahoo.com and let's chat.
Father, help us to remember that what we think ultimately determines how we react and respond to situations. Forgive us for times where we have failed You and help us to rely on You to lead us to produce the fruit You want us to with our thoughts, fruits that honor You. Help us to remember that while it's good to think good thoughts that You are the One who brings to pass the things You desire in our lives. Help us never to set our thoughts up as idols that are our gods. Remove from us our negative thinking and help us to take every thought captive to You, dear Lord. In the matchless name of Christ our Lord I pray, Amen.

For more In "Other" Words Tuesdays, click on the button above.



MiPa said...

Another great post of "food for thought". Bless you!

Patricia said...

Laurie, you are a great teacher. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

Carolyn said...

Thank you, Laurie for your in-depth writings. I so appreciate your step by step teaching and definitions. I love it each week. This is definitely your spiritual gift. Blessings to your day!

LauraLee Shaw said...

I'm with you. I think it requires faith and action. Well said. YOu always inspire me.

Debbie said...

Laurie Ann, you made some excellent points on positive thinking. I agree with you on that. I love the Philippians passage and I know I try to do that. When negative thoughts won't go away, I try to remember to quote that Scripture so I'm replacing the negative thought and giving it to the Lord. This way I believe I'm not living in denial but acknowledging it for what it is. You always seem to shed new light on each of these quotes. Thank you.

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom my friend.

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

Great post, Laurie Ann. You put a lot of thought into this!

He And Me + 3 said...

Very good post. I have so much trouble with thinking and then speaking...I need to think, pray and then keep my mouth quiet if it is something that may hurt someone else.

Susan said...

Excellent word Laurie Ann.

I'm with you on just "confessing things and expecting God to act!"

But I do want to LEARN to take all my thoughts captive.

Thanks for such a great word, as always♥

Femin Susan said...

Lovely post!You put a lot of thought into this!

Denise Hughes said...

Thank you for sharing your passion for the Word. The verses you shared were very apropos! I especially liked Proverbs 27:19, which is now on my need-to-memorize list. Thanks!