Am I thinking right? Is there something like "wrong" and "right" thinking?
“Thoughts are free!” Who hasn’t heard that saying? It comes from a German folk song that has historical roots far back in the early days of German history. In times of political oppression or danger, people often used it to express their longing for freedom or to be independent. The first stanza reads:
But is that really so? Can we think what we want? Are our thoughts allowed to go for a walk, no matter where?
Specifically I am focusing on the topic that currently became of course quite important to me: How do I think as a Christian about deep suffering that affects and hits me personally? What do I think? In which attitude of mind am I going through this trial?
Just recently, but even in earlier times I have heard different stories of suffering. The reactions and inner attitude which surface in them are different and I try to put them in place. At some of the thoughts I have big question marks – but careful! I think we all know such thoughts. Partly these (wrong?) attitudes are printed already in early childhood or during adolescence and are deeply engrained in our mind. And the question is: What is the effect of it? Does it matter? Can I or even have I to change something about it? Maybe much earlier, before crisis comes?
Here are some examples:
- “I am struggling with God.”
- “What did I do to deserve this?”
- “What’s the quickest way to get out of this?”
- “If I can’t work anymore, what am I worth?”
- “Have to be ashamed in front of people, am I just a burden to them?”
- “Why is God doing this to me? Why is he punishing me with this?”
- “How can I get back to the office as soon as possible?”
- “After all, now my life is basically not worth living.”
- “I can do this on my own, I’ll muddle through.”
I am interested in your answers to these questions:
- Does the Bible say anything specific on the subject of thought?
- Is there a connection between thought and action?
- Is there right and wrong thinking, and if so, which thinking is wrong and which is right for Christians?
- And how do we arrive at right thinking?
- Are there then promises and consequences for right thinking (or, conversely, negative consequences for wrong thinking)?