No, really... who?

When you think of yourself, what comes to mind?

How do you think people perceive you?

How do you want people to perceive you?

Or, most importantly, how do want to perceive yourself?

What you think of yourself matters more than you might think.

Here’s a quote from a fantastic book I read recently, Atomic Habits:

“Every action is a vote for the type of person you believe you are.” — James Clear

Every action is paired with a belief. Even the small ones.

Why smoke a cigarette? You’re a smoker.

Why buy a car you can’t afford? You have a great job with a fancy title.

Why get up at 5am? You’re an early riser.

Why eat ketchup with your eggs? You’re a ketchup-with-your-eggs-guy.

You've decided, with that brain of yours, that you're that type of person. You do as you think.

More than we might be ready to admit, our thoughts have a real influence on who we are and how we act.

The Bible speaks often about the power of the mind and our thoughts. I think it’s easy to glaze over this and overlook the connection between thoughts and transformation. Maybe it’s too “self-helpish,” and we’ve been turned off by cheap self-help books and self-proclaimed “gurus.”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” — Romans‬ ‭12:2‬

The catalyst to being able to test and approve God’s will is the renewing of your mind.

To be able to know God and His will, you have to think differently. You have to allow God’s thoughts to become your thoughts. Transformation doesn’t just stop at the heart — it continues in the mind as well.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” — 2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:5‬

God knows that there are going to be thoughts of doubt, temptation, discouragement, hatred, and strife.

If you look closely, you ca man see that it takes some mental brute force to get your thoughts in line sometimes: “...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

We cannot let our minds go unchecked.

“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

With all the news, gossip, work, financial struggle, relationship drama, etc. that goes on, your day could quite literally be consumed with negative thoughts.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” — Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬

Thinking about the things of God — how you are blessed, how you can advance the Kingdom, who needs help, etc. — focuses your mind on what matters most. When your mind is consumed with earthly things — which video game to play, that project that's due, how to get a girlfriend, etc. — you're focused on what matters least.

So think about this: Are you cultivating thoughts that empower your walk with God? Or are you cultivating thoughts that empower sin?

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