Almost everything that happens to you, good or bad, originates with a single thought. Neuroscience can now demonstrate that every thought sends electrical and chemical signals throughout your brain, ultimately affecting each cell in your body. Thoughts can influence your sleep, your digestion, your pulse, the chemical makeup of your blood, and all other bodily functions. The secret conversations you hold in the privacy of your own mind are shaping your destiny, little by little.
With every thought that races through your mind, you are continually reinventing yourself and your future. Research indicates that the average person thinks approximately 50,000 per day. This is either good or bad news because every thought means you either toward your God-given potential or away from it. No thoughts are neutral.
Whatever you direct your mind to think about will ultimately be revealed for everyone to see. Remind yourself with a smile that “my thoughts are showing.” See, you have two options: by your manner of thinking, you can draw out the best in yourself and others, or you can draw out the worst. What you persistently think eventually but inevitably crystallizes into the words you speak and the things you do.
Every thought you have shifts your life in a particular direction, sometimes in a minor way and sometimes in a major way. Every individual thought matters. Unfortunately approximately 90% of the shots you have today are repeats from yesterday and the day before. This is the primary reason why effecting permanent, positive life improvement tends to be met with such stiff resistance in most people.
If your aim is to maximize your potential for joy, you must first discipline yourself mentally. This is your responsibility, something for which you must immediately take ownership. Do your part now so that God can honor your faith and empower you to live a life of excellence. Think the thoughts you would think if you trusted God’s promises completely. Make a shift from random, reactive thinking to deliberate, purpose-driven thinking. You have authority over your thoughts, but God will not force you to exercise this aspect of your free will anymore then he will compel you to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, read the Bible, or wear your seat-belt. Right thinking is a choice you have to make for yourself the rest of your life. If you are committed, you can select your thoughts and thereby shape your life here on earth into something spectacular. The alternative is to give up this freedom and live a life of mediocrity dominated by uncertainty and suspense. This may sound harsh at first, but I know it is the truth and I suspect you do as well.
In Romans 12: 2, we are taught that transformation is the result of a renewed mind. The Apostle Paul writes, “ Do not conform any longer 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” (NIV). The idea is that you have to retrain your thoughts and feelings if you want to experience God’s ideal for your life and get the most out of every moment of every day. Unfortunately, most people struggle to change or renew their circumstances (lose weight, fix their marriage, make more money), when they should be asking God’s help them renew their minds. When our minds are renewed, circumstances take care of themselves
Many people think that WHEN their life gets better, they will have more joy. But the truth is this: When you have more joy, you have a better life! The 40 Day Joy Challenge is an online course that produces better habits, stronger relationships, and greater joy in less than 9 minutes a day. Sign up to begin your journey here.
This article is an excerpt from Tommy Newberry’s book The 4:8 Principle.