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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Learning How My Life Is Shaped By My Thoughts

In review of Romans 12:2 it says, 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."

Bottom Line:
Don’t look to the world for your value system. Rather let God and his Word transform you thinking.

What this means to me:
Since my life is shaped by my thoughts, I should never copy the behavior and customs of our culture. Rather I should let God transform and shape the way I think. If I do, then I will be able to to learn what God’s good, pleasing and perfect will is for me.

Today's passage comes from the first part of Romans chapter 12 in which Paul speaks to us about being a living sacrifice to God. Overall Paul explains that we should give our lives to God, because of all he has done for us. The giving of ourselves is truly the way to worship him. We start by not copying the behavior and customs of this world around us. Rather we let God transform us into new people. We are also reminded to not think more highly of ourselves than we should. We should use the gifts God gave us to serve those around us.

My life is shaped by my thoughts, therefore it's important that I not fill them with the things of this world. Rather I should be transformed into a new person by changing the way that I think. As I do this, I will learn to know more about what God's will is for me.

As I investigated the last few days, I cannot become all God created me to be until I understand the five factors that influence my identity. The first two were chemistry (how I was made) and connections (my relationships). I am a product of the way God created me and of the relationships in my life.

Today I explore how my identity is also influenced by my circumstances and my consciousness.

Circumstances are the things that happen to and around me; none of which I control. I am a product of the trauma, troubles, suffering, shame, shock, pressures, and pain that have shaped my life. Perhaps even a series of failures or a catastrophe, have left an indelible mark on who I am.

Consciousness is how I talk to myself (self talk.) This talk is not always so nice. For instance If I talked to my friends the way I talk to myself, I probably wouldn’t be friends anymore, because my thoughts are filled with the lies I’ve heard from other people that I’ve let simmer and fester. When I repeat other people’s thoughts in my head, they go deeper and deeper in my consciousness, and ultimately begin to shape my identity.

Proverbs 4:23 reminds me to, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (NCV). My thoughts don’t have to be true to hurt; I just have to believe them. If I tell myself my won’t last, then it won’t. If I’m afraid I can’t do something, then I won’t. My thoughts run my life!

While my circumstances may be out of my control, I need to remember that God is in control of everything. My thoughts shape who I am, but I can change the way I think. My circumstances and consciousness have shaped who I am up till now, but the way I respond to my circumstances and the thoughts I choose to believe will shape the rest of my life.

Over the past several years I see how my natural responses to difficult situations or circumstances has changed. I’m much more apt to face it with trust in God. This is likely from a conscious move on my part to seek God and his Word daily.