PrayerConnect for January 26, 2016

A New Way of Thinking

The way we think leads to the way we act. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Our thoughts become words; then our words become actions. We must arrest thoughts we know to be against God’s Word before they become negative words or actions. We need to know God’s Word if we are to have it to compare our thoughts to. Some thoughts are obviously bad, but others may be more subtle. There are thoughts that are connected to our human emotions. These are mindsets that were produced in childhood, and have been there all our lives. They may be the result of harsh words or abuse. We may have become accustomed to mindsets that produce feelings of shame and unworthiness. These are the most damaging of all. They affect the way we think about God, others, and ourselves. Shame and unworthiness lead to hopelessness and self-destructive behavior, which includes poor decisions and other actions or habits that negatively affect one’s life.
 
Shame resulting from abuse also leads to rebellion. This results in ungodly behavior and disobedience to common laws, a mindset that one is above the law (pride). Bottom line, it is a result of anger towards God. Since God created us, a mindset is formed where God is blamed for all of our imperfections. This mindset can be generational, and one that has been carried most or all of one’s life. To overcome, necessary steps must be taken towards becoming perfected in Christ by living according to His principles. Shame will prevent us from believing we can overcome, and from admitting, even to ourselves, that we need to change. Shame can cause pride. Pride/shame prevents us from admitting we need God to help us change; herein is the mindset of humanism. We believe we can be our own god. And this will get us in a lot of trouble. It is written, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom”(Proverbs 11:2). Shame/pride has many looking out from it behind spiritual bars, never able to admit that their choices and actions are the reason they are there.
The good news is that there is a way to overcome the negative effects of shame in our lives. We can change the way that we think. We can choose to take responsibility for our thoughts, actions, and lives. We can be free from destructive mindsets by the transformation and renewing of our minds. We do not have to live in eternal condemnation when we choose to retrain our thinking according to the mind of the One who can make all things new. We can reprogram our minds; not according to life’s circumstances, but according to the Word of God.  Read John 1:1. Here John referred to Jesus, who is the light of the world. When we line up our thinking with the Word, it might not seem good to us all the time, but if we push forward to a “new way of thinking”, walking continually in faith, there will be no condemnation, regardless of past mistakes and choices. This is true no matter how bad those mistakes and choices are perceived to be. Read Isaiah 55:7. Surely, we can be free from a life of shame and condemnation if we will choose a new way of thinking.
Beth Marie Evans, Guest Writer
Brookfield, Illinois