"I think, therefore I am" - Descartes
In a similar way to nutrition and the way our bodies are what we eat, our lives are what we think.
Our thoughts have the ability to make us healthy and strong, full of wisdom, grace and potential, but they also have the ability to make us sick, unmotivated, and drain us of life. They control our emotions, our words, our behaviour and our ability to engage with God and with others. Our thoughts are the central hub of our being in that they are the communication centre the moves things from the spirit realm to the physical realm. As our spirits commune with God, it is our minds that either manifest into reality or block and hinder from manifesting the truths and blessings that God intends for us. Imagine that! Our minds and our thoughts can block the health and life that God intended for our emotions, bodies and relationships! Or our minds and thoughts can manifest and bring into existence this health and life!
The bible tells us that the key to a transformed life is to restore our minds back to its original design and purpose.
The mind was intended to be God's gift to us to bring about the manifestation of His goodness in our lives through your meditation on His promises.
In the New Testament 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that we have 'not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind". This term 'sound mind' in different translations can be read as 'self discipline', 'self control', 'discipline' or 'sound judgement'. Our minds as designed by God are naturally wired to work in a manner of self discipline and sound judgement! Why does this matter? It matters because our thought life influences every part of us. We are intrinsically connected between all elements of what makes us human-spirit, mind, body. Our thoughts affect our view of ourselves and those around us, they affect our words, and our actions, and even go as far as affecting our emotions which ultimately play out in physical responses or symptoms without our bodies.
A sound mind, with a healthy thought life is crucial to living a whole and healthy life and is one of the basic inheritances of someone who believes in the Jesus and the power to which is accessible to them through what he achieved at the cross.
Dr. Caroline Leaf* a highly educated and experience neuroscientist says that "we can get involved in the process of changing of our mental and physical health in either a good or bad direction through our choices and thoughts".
And David Storer* (one of my favourite authors as you will soon realise) puts it this way "we make a choice as to what sorts of thoughts we hold onto in our mind. depending on which one we choose, we can have either life and peace or death".
For me these truths were totally ground breaking and when I encountered them for the first time a few years ago I could not have told you the extent to which they would transform my life.
I used to live in a place of constant comparison, expectation, and emotional imbalance purely because of my thought life! I can't believe the change I have experienced personally since taking these truths and focussing on them, praying for the Spirit to empower and implant them into my heart and mind so that when I think and therefore feel, speak and act, I am doing so from a place of health and balance-amazing! I think, therefore I now am!
10 THINGS THAT HELPED ME GET MY THOUGHTS UNDER CONTROL
- Realising I am not my thoughts and I have a choice to engage with them, or let them move on.
- I have the choice to reject and correct thoughts that are not true. I can literally say to myself, that is not true. this is what is true, and focus on that, moving my mind, emotions, words and ultimately actions in the direction of truth instead.
- My mind was designed by God to have the ability to choose between healthy thoughts and destroying thoughts and to then build my reality around that choice. There's no wonder then that the Bible explores us to when given "the choice between life and death 'CHOOSE LIFE!'" (Deuteronomy 30:19).
- I have the ability to speak into being the good and healthy thoughts and as I focus on them, see my mind and body begin to align with those thoughts and become healthier and stronger!
- I have the ability to speak into being the good and healthy thoughts about others and see my responses, emotions and words work in a healthy and functional manner, not attributing meaning to things, taking offence or building stories in my mind any more.
- I am free from my own expectations of my self and the expectations I place on others because I have the choice to think good and healthy things around them, if I let myself down I choose the thoughts that are truthful about myself and move on, and same for those around me.
- Put into practice the principle of 'renewing' my mind (Romans 12) by focussing on the way God sees me and the fact He has designed me and given me the ability to renew my mind, rewire it and see the change in my thoughts and emotions because of this!
- Put into practice the principle of 'taking every thought captive' (2 Corinthians 10:5) by what I wrote above, rejecting the thoughts that are not true, and replacing them in my mind with thoughts that are good and healthy and true.
- Put into practice the principle of fixing my "thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable" ( Philippians 4:8) as whatever you focus on grows and grows, so if I am focussing on good and healthy things, they will grow in my mind and be what I live, feel and speak out of!
- Speak things out loud. A while ago I read that when you say things out loud they lose their power over you (or at least they sometimes sound silly when you say them and you realise they aren't as bad or as scary as you THOUGHT they were in your mind!). This has truly helped me, sometimes when I have tried to do all of the above in an area of my thinking, or I just can't seem to shake a negative or controlling thought pattern, I say it out loud, usually to my husband, not to discuss it or talk about it for hours but because I know once I say it, it often helps me to move on and be able to see that thought in a new light.
Thought life is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest area I have experience healing in over the past years and I cannot express enough how empowering and impacting it can be on the rest of your life. My body, health, marriage, and emotions are all so much stronger because of the journey I have gone on to receive and live out of the sound mind that God created me to have.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, Think & Eat Yourself Smart
David Storer, Meditations on Mysteries