By Latoya A Delmadge
THE actions that we produce are driven by our thoughts. Before we make any steps in a particular direction, it is best that we hold ourselves accountable by processing our very own thoughts.
The Word of God teaches us how powerful and influential our thought patterns are; it directs the course of our life. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Let’s take for example the illustration of lusting after someone in our heart, continually. As the thought of lust comes in our mind, it is our responsibility to process why we thought of lust, how we plan to respond to this thought and whether this thought will become a recurring thought. If we have thoughts of low self-esteem, we do not have to be defined as a person with low self-esteem or allow these thoughts to control us. We claim and utilize the power within us, by countering our thoughts with faithfulness and confidence. As powerful, thinking human beings, we have to master the art of directing our thought patterns into a fruitful, positive and productive direction. Yes! We can accomplish this task, but it will require some work.
We all are faced with maladaptive thoughts at times, and we all have the ability to channel our thoughts and direct our actions. The initial stage of mindfulness is awareness. Before we are able to challenge a thought process, we have to be aware of that thought and judge its content. Let’s go back to thoughts of lust. A great place to start is to first identify that the thoughts we are having are lustful. After our thought is identified, we then weigh whether it is productive or destructive, which is guided firstly by our belief system and moral standard. Any thought we have should be judged by asking ourselves the question: Is it maladaptive or worth adapting; is it life-bearing or marked with death. Ask yourself: What will happen if I water this thought and what kind of fruit will it produce? Whatever results we are looking for, move in that direction with that thought.
How Do Your Thoughts Shape Your Dreams?
We have the power to accomplish and achieve whatever we believe. Our thought is the road which leads to our dreams.
Whatever we spend our time thinking about becomes the driving force for our actions. For example, when we are driving a vehicle and we focus our attention on a specific direction; whether it be to the left of us or the right of us, the car we are driving automatically goes in the direction of our focus. The same concept is true in the way we think lining up with our actions which directs the course of our lives. We are able to achieve every dream and ambition that we set our minds to—the only barrier that can hinder our progress is our thoughts.
God has already declared that he has good thoughts for us and our future. However, there are forces in this world that want to keep us back from seeing God’s perfect plan. We encounter things in life that are meant to discourage us and make us believe that we are not capable or that we are not meant for good.
The problem is not that life was destined to work against you, the enlightenment is that, because you’ve been shaped to think of yourself based on your experiences, your actions just fulfilled those very thought patterns—you’ve been shaped.
How do we change the course of these thoughtful patterns? We already identified the first stage of awareness. Now we are challenged to replace the negative thought with more positive thoughts and reprogram our thought process; but first we must firmly believe in the ability of our thoughts coming to pass and purpose must be found in our past disappointments. If you believe that God has a great plan and purpose for our lives, we start with that belief. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This article is an excerpt from 31 Days of Mindful Proverbs: Healing Words for the Soul by Latoya A. Delmadge.