Category Archives: Rightful Thinking

Always Be Thankful

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Thankful

 

“No matter what happens, always be thankful ~ 
For this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (TLB)
 

It’s easy to have a grateful heart when life is moving in a positive direction, when there is smooth sailing ahead, when showers of blessings are raining down upon your head, when everything is “right” in your world. But it’s not so easy to be thankful when you face adversities, illness, financial pressures, relationship problems, or other trials.  Yet grateful people seem to have an inner feeling of contentment, a supernatural sense of joy that can only come out of a thankful heart. They find ways to be thankful, even in the deepest valleys of life. Ungrateful people are grumpy, constantly complaining, and find it difficult to be happy in life. They haven’t realized that the “secret” to happiness is simply having an attitude of gratitude…no matter what happens.

If you are continually focused on the things you don’t have, you can never be grateful for the blessings you do have! God wants you to be thankful…no matter what. He knows exactly what you are going through, and when you thank Him in those tough times, your focus turns to Him instead of your problems. It’s amazing how the simple act of acknowledging His presence in your life makes Him seem larger and your problems seem smaller. Trusting that He works everything out for your good is one key to being thankful in ALL circumstances.

Take time today to focus on being thankful. Express your gratitude to God for His constant presence in your life and His never-ending love and mercy toward you.

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When You Feel Crabby

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“Live in harmony with one another…” Romans 12:16a (NIV)
 

Let’s face it. There days when it’s difficult to “live in harmony” with others ~ days when every little thing gets on your nerves, and you feel crotchety and testy.  Perhaps something happened to precipitate this prickly state of mind, or it could be that you just simply woke up in a grouchy mood. Instead of harmony, everything around your seems to be a cacophony of jangling disharmony.

But as a children of the Prince of Peace, we must remind ourselves that the example we set in our lives should draw others to our Heavenly Father, not push them away. We should be a breath of fresh air for people around us, not a source of negativity and strife. So if you are having one of those touch-me-not days, take a spiritual time out and pray about it.  Ask God to reset your attitude, and replace your crabbiness with an infusion of His loving, patient and forgiving spirit. Remind yourself of these instructions from Philippians 2:14 – 16a (MSG)

        1. Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed!
        2. Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society.
        3. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.
        4. Carry the light-giving Message into the night…

Strive to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice, and focus on what really matters, not on nit-picky details.  Let this be your constant theme: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 (NIV)

  • “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
  • “Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night…” Philippians 2:14 – 16a (MSG)
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23(NIV)
 

 

Lead With Your Ears

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“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends:
Lead with your ears,
follow up with your tongue,
and let anger straggle along in the rear.”
James 1:19 (MSG)

 

Ears Lead

 
 

Wouldn’t it be great if these valuable directions were posted as constant reminders at all the intersections?  How many times could difficult situations be avoided if we simply kept certain thoughts to ourselves?

Speaking the right words at the appropriate time is important, but so is restraining our desire to say what we shouldn’t, because once words are spoken, they can’t be un-spoken or erased. An uncontrolled tongue spewing idle or hateful verbiage is divisive and damaging. A few angry words can destroy relationships that might have taken years to develop, so sifting words through a filter of love before they are released from our mouths is a crucial practice.

I’ve often heard the quote, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason,” and I’m sure if we all listened twice as much as we spoke, all of our relationships would be much better off, and anger would be in our rearview mirrors.

Remember:  What we say is important, but so is what we don’t say.

        • The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint” Proverbs 17:27a (NIV)
        • “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19 (NIV)
        • “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b

Above All Else

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Above all else,

guard your heart

for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Your heart…is it’s protection your top priority?    Why should this be such an extremely important task?  Take a moment to let the meaning of these words penetrate your mind:

Above all else… Make this the most important priority in your life.  Use this instruction as a guide to filter your thoughts, actions, affections, desires, dreams and feelings.  If your heart’s desires are set on the best that God has in mind for you ~the very purpose for which He created you ~  then you will stay on His desired path for your life, and you won’t veer off course.

…Guard Your Heart…  You guard things that are valuable to you, things that you treasure, things that you want to keep safe from harm, and things that you want to protect.   Your heart is what drives you to action, and it is the essence of who you are.  It’s the core of your being, and with it you connect to God and others.  Watch over your heart with vigilance, and set up protective boundaries around it so that the desires which flow from within are pure and in line with God’s will.  Consistently examine the information you take in visually (through television, movies, internet, social media, print, video games, email, texting, etc…) and audibly (through radio, cd’s, or other audio sources.) Diligently monitor the relationships in your life, and make sure that those with whom you surround yourself also want God’s best for your life.  Do not give your heart to anyone who could cause you to stumble or lead you astray.  Put up virtual signs within your heart which read, “NO DUMPING ALLOWED,” and don’t allow any trash to enter.  You make time for the things that you love and enjoy, so make sure that the things cherished inside your heart are from God and in line with His will.  

…for it is the wellspring of life…. Imagine a pure spring deep within the earth.  Visualize its crystal clear waters bubbling up and flowing out to form the headwaters of a major river.  Similarly, your heart is the internal fountainhead, or wellspring, from which everything else in life flows.   If you fill your heart with pure, excellent and honorable things, those same types of  things will cascade out of it.  Don’t pollute the wellspring with dishonorable contaminants, because everything downstream will be toxic.

Your heart determines the course of life, and from your heart originates your destiny.  Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard and protect it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life ~ God’s best.

For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.  Proverbs 23:7a

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

God’s Answers

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Each day untold numbers of negative thoughts can swirl through our heads.  It is often difficult to control those thoughts, but I have found that the best remedy for negative thinking is through God’s powerful and positive Word. When you feel discouraged, weak, too tied to go on, unloved, condemned, depleted, confused, incompetent, fearful, guilty, unsure, defeated, worried, sad, or alone, God has an answer for you.   Say these verses out loud until you have memorized them.  Repeat them to yourself each time that negative thought creeps into your mind.  God loves you unconditionally!  He speaks to you through His Word.  Listen to His voice of truth instead of the lies that may be playing on “auto-shuffle” in your mind.

Here are just a few examples to get you started:

God’s Answers to our Negative Thoughts:

YOU SAY GOD SAYS BIBLE VERSES
You say: ‘It’s impossible’ God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27 NIV)27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27
You say: ‘I’m too tired’ God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
You say: ‘Nobody really loves me’ God says: I love you (John 3:16 NIV)16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
You say: ‘I can’t go on’ God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15 NIV)II Corinthians 12:9

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Psalm 91:15

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

You say:  ‘I can’t figure things out’ God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5- 6)5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
You say: ‘I can’t do it’ God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13 NIV)I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
You say: ‘I’m not able’ God says: I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
You say: ‘It’s not worth it’ God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 NIV)28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
You say: ‘I can’t forgive myself’ God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1 NIV)1 John 1:9

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

Romans 8:1

8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

You say: ‘I can’t manage’ God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)New International Version (NIV)

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

You say: ‘I’m afraid’ God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)New International Version (NIV)

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

You say: ‘I’m always worried and frustrated’ God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7 NIV)7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
You say: ‘I’m not smart enough’ God says: I give you wisdom (James 1:5 NIV)If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
You say: ‘I feel all alone’ God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b NIV)God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

Think This…Not That

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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 (NIV1984)

Think This b Not That
Whatever is….. Whatever is…..

True

False

Noble

Dishonorable

Right

Wrong

Pure

Unwholesome

Lovely

Dreadful

Admirable

Disgraceful

Excellent

Inferior

Praiseworthy

Blameworthy

What we put into our minds will eventually come out in our words and actions. If we feed our minds on a diet of thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, there will be marvelous results in our outward behaviors. A continual feast of rightful thinking will transform your thoughts and lift your spirit. Your heart will become so full of goodness that it will eventually spill over into your communication with others around you; it will show in the expression on your face, and will be evident in your attitude and deeds.

If you have problems with negative thinking, examine what you are feeding into your mind through websites, social network sites, text messages, email, television, magazines, books, radio, movies and conversations. There may be people you gravitate toward who bring you down with gossip. Purposefully replace any harmful input with wholesome material. Don’t leave room in your mind for thoughts that are false, dishonorable, wrong, unwholesome, dreadful, disgraceful, inferior or blameworthy.

Ask God to help you focus on what is good and pure. Feast upon His Word and pray throughout your day. At first it may be difficult to wean yourself away from a diet of inferior thoughts and negativity, but eventually you will feel a refreshing transformation in your mind and spirit which will be evident in your countenance, conversations and conduct.

Think this…not that!