Our thinking matters more than anything. What goes on between your left ear and your right ear is your life! Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” You and I don’t have to do anything to be toxic, we already are. I don’t have to work at thinking negatively, it comes naturally; all sin does. We live in a world that is toxic because it is a world that is Godless, and one of the big lies of the world is that it thinks that it can live without radical dependence on the Lord.
If you think enough about this world, it can just paralyze you, but when you fix your thoughts on God, and when you interpret life in light of God’s Word, and speak about life in ways that God spoke about life; it just changes life, and life looks very differently. A lot of us are living weak and enslaved lives because we are longing for a power we don’t have and are not using the power we do have. We want the magic to change the world around us, when God has given us the power to change the world within us!
When you live from your feelings, (how you feel about yourself, your future, other people) you’re going to live a toxic life. A lot of us are forfeiting the game of our life because we’re not willing to live in the responsibility of self discipline. As disciples of Jesus, we don’t stand on our opinions and our interpretations, but we live in the clearly revealed Word of God. This becomes the way we think, not in the toxic mess that we have grown used to.
The scripture says very clearly, in 1 Timothy 2:7, that God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but He gave us the spirit of power and of love and of self discipline. When you use that power to choose your thoughts for God, your life changes. So many of us are living “feeling” driven lives; downward and undisciplined, but real disciples live life disciplining every thought to become a God thought. You don’t tolerate Godless thinking!
Now, you can’t control every thought that comes into your head. Thoughts are like an airplane buzzing the runway, but you’re the traffic controller, and you don’t have to let it land! You are responsible for the thoughts that you entertain and let live in your inner world. Never discount the power of a single thought, good or bad. It was a single thought in Hitler’s heart that led to the death of millions of people needlessly; a single thought of hate. And it was a single thought in God’s mind that led to salvation of the world in Jesus Christ.
If you and I choose to live “feeling” driven lives, we are going to live toxic lives that not only corrode our own souls, but impact negatively the people around us. Think carefully, don’t be sloppy in your thinking; which is why it’s so important to open the Word of God and fill your heart and mind with God thoughts. I want your disciple life to start in your inner world and as your inner world is changed, your outer world will be changed as well. Following Jesus as Lord, means disciplining your thoughts to become God thoughts; because you cannot be a disciple of Jesus without exercising discipline.
Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32). So, the biblical way to deal with the mess we are in; is to deal with the truth of our feelings. “God, I feel hopeless, but I remember that you are the God of hope and I can do all things through you.”God, I feel hopeless, but I choose…"and then you fill in the blank with what is true about God. Jesus said this; “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He quoted Psalm 22. Why? Because that’s how He felt, He was being real; there is no fake in Jesus! “But nevertheless, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Your life is what it is because you think how you think and if you’ll change how you think, you’ll change your life! When you go through the day, you can be dragged down in so many ways, but when you choose to leave behind toxic thinking for the glory of God filled thinking; there is just this transforming that happens.
Do you know who you are? You are the beloved children of God, you are the delight of Heaven; you are the price of Christ. You're everything to God, you are! You want to know how to make life work? Wrap your heart around the gift of Jesus and the love that God has for you and just dive into that. Let yourself become the child that you’re longing to be: accepted, embraced, wanted, valued and significant. It’s impossible to be discontent in the love of God anymore than it’s possible to be thirsty under Niagara Falls; it’s just not going to happen.
Live in confident prayer, whatever it is that is troubling you, whatever it is that is threatening to destroy you, don’t let those thoughts stay; you pray! Think up, not down. You don’t have to live a toxic life, but it all begins in exercising how you think. It all happens between the left ear and the right ear; never underestimate the power of a single thought; good or bad. –Dr. Drew Shofner