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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

I Need to Think About What I Think About

In Proverbs 14:15 it says, “Fools will believe anything, but the wise think about what they do.” (NCV)

Every behavior is based on a belief. My perceptions about how life works, the things I value all lead to my behavior.

If I act scared, it’s because I believe scary thoughts at that moment. If I act resentful, it’s because I believe I’ve been devalued, and so I’m going to defend myself. If I’m acting prideful, it may be because I believe I’m not good enough, so I’m trying to compensate by being boastful.

If there is a behavior in my life that I don’t like, then I should go to the source and change the thought behind it. God says in Haggai 1:5, “Carefully consider your ways!” (GW).

I should ask: Why do I act that way with this person? Why do I act this way at work or school? Why do I act this way with certain neighbors? What thought triggered that response? What assumption is behind that action? What belief is beneath that behavior?

In this kind of conflict with your spouse or significant other: It starts off simple enough—but before I know it, something in the argument triggers my emotions, and I go from zero to 100 in emotional intensity in two seconds? Then I’m out of control, upset, nervous, or fearful. I may start sweating, or my voice may rise. Maybe tears start coming down my cheeks.

Something in that moment tapped into an unspoken belief. I may believe the other person is going to leave me. I may believe I haven’t been heard. I may believe my idea isn’t being given validation and I’m not being treated with respect. I believe something that suddenly triggered an emotional response.

If ever in a situation like that, I need to consider: What am I believing right now? I need to examine the beliefs beneath my behavior.

The Bible says in Proverbs 14:15, “Fools will believe anything, but the wise think about what they do” (NCV).

To grow in any area of life, I need to examine what’s going on in my mind. I need to start thinking about what I’m thinking about so my thoughts can lead to healthy, purposeful action.