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)?
So a few thoughts jumps to my mind:
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – THINK about such things
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ
I think our thoughts are so powerful and has a direct effect on our actions but also can lead to a negative state of mind. If we do not capture wrong thinking and bring it to obedience to the truth about who God is, we are treading down a dangerous path. We arrive at right thinking by studying the Word, by growing in the knowledge of WHO God is, by growing in the knowledge of who I am and how much grace means to me. We desperately need to speak TRUTH into our lives – not the truth of the world, but the truth of who we are in Christ. New creations with new desires and transformed minds. Rom 12:2 continues with a promise – a renewed mind gives you the ability to test and approve God’s will.
And so, how do I apply this all to my daily walk with the Lord. When ‘wrong’ thinking pops up, I intentionally speak to myself to stop the negative, sometimes sinful thoughts and pray for His continued help to get victory over wrong thinking – my spiritual growth is gradual, sometimes baby steps and how amazing that we worship a God who is slow to anger and abounding in love!
Thank you, Anastia, this is spot on! I came to exactly the same bible verses and principles.