“I can’t. . .do. . .it!” I managed to say through gritted teeth.
I stopped running—bent forward, holding my ribs, and looked upward at the daunting hill ahead. It was at this point that I noticed I had stopped in the very same spot on my last three attempts to conquer the dreaded hill. This made me frustrated and discouraged. But as my breathing got a little easier, something else occurred to me.
“I won’t make it up that hill with this attitude.” I realized that I needed to change the way I was thinking. Have you been there?
I have discovered that what goes on in my mind affects me physically (my workout, overall health) as well as spiritually. I’ll admit, I have been known to throw some “pity parties.” I’ve also struggled off and on with depression since I was in my teens. I’m not saying that negative thoughts cause depression, but they surely can lead to it. Many times negative thoughts impact our mood and attitude, which thereby impacts our actions.
I looked to God and His word for how to deal with these negative thoughts.
FIRST, We need to let go of the old way of thinking. This makes room for the Spirit and a new way of thinking. Ephesians 4:22 NLT “..Put off your old self which is being corrupted..”
Practically speaking, here’s an example: A negative thought enters our mind such as, “I can’t.” That thought has to go, in order to make room for a new, godly thought from the Spirit.
We must also get rid of old, negative behaviors and habits. Is anything coming to mind?
SECOND, We need to change the way we think. Ephesians 4:23 NLT “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”
In my last blog, we covered that God wants to” transform” and” renew” our minds (Romans 12:2)
The Greek word for transform is “metamorphosis”. Sound familiar? It is used today to describe the amazing change a caterpillar goes through when changing into a butterfly. What a beautiful picture of what happens to us spiritually when we allow God to get personal with us and redirect our thoughts and attitudes. It’s a transformation from the inside out.
Practically speaking again: Once we let go of the negative thought (“I can’t”), we now replace/renew it with what God says. A possible scripture is, Philippians 4:13 NLT “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
THIRD, We need to put on the new godly character. Our character is essentially the sum of our habits. We must choose to make it a habit to get rid of negative thoughts and attitudes and replace them with godly ones.
Philippians 4:8-9 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me..”
That last line in the scripture above is critical. Keep putting into practice all that you’ve learned. And remember, we are not doing this in our own power. We have the Spirit’s “dynamite” power working in us! (See my blog post, “You’ve Got the Power!” May 11, http://beckielindsey16.com/2015/05/11/workout-youve-got-the-power/ )
With God’s help, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!
The metamorphosis will be beautiful!
Join me in this prayer:
(Psalm 139:23-24 NLT) “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Has this post helped or do you have suggestions that you want to share? I’d love to read your comments.
This is a great post! You’re so right. Negative thoughts may not cause depression, but they do help tighten depression’s grip on us. We’ve got to reject those negative thoughts and embrace the truth through the power of the God’s Spirit! Amen, girl!!! 🙂
I absolutely love this post, Beckie. Spot on!