It’s 13 degrees outside with snow on the ground and ice on the road. A man in the crosswalk is wearing tennis shoes, khaki pants, and a windbreaker.
What motivates someone to face such adverse weather so ill-prepared?
I see wine bottles in his bag and quickly deem him as one who would rather freeze than go without a drink. My righteous indignation fades as God prompts me to glance at the passenger seat of the vehicle I’m driving. I’ve just scored several treasures from a Goodwill located 6 miles away from my original destination.
I shake my head as I realize my own distorted thinking. I came out to fill a prescription for my mother and used that opportunity to appease my obsession with hunting for thrift store books.
I told that story because I wanted to talk about the thinking that lies behind our actions.
How we think matters!
If there is any distortion in our thoughts it will keep us from intimacy with God. It will impact our relationships with people or with food. Distorted thoughts hold us hostage and prevent us from reaching our fullest potential.
What are distorted thoughts?
Let’s look at a few;
- Ignoring the good: seeing the worst in yourself or others.
- “What if I fail?”
- Rationalizing: “it’s okay for me to eat all of this, I’ll just run it off tomorrow.”
- Mind-reading: “she thinks she’s better than me.” “He thinks I’ll give up.”
- negative labeling: “I’m stupid” or “I’m fat”
This passage from the New Living Version of the Bible speaks about our thought life in relation to God’s Word.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT
Time spent reading the Word of God exposes who we are and how we think. Nothing is hidden from Him. Let’s examine our thought lives to weed out the distortions because the quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our lives.
Let’s Reflect: Which of the distortions did you identify with? Perhaps yours is not on this list. Take some time to journal your observations about yourself and your patterns of thinking. Ask God to reveal to you what areas you need to work on.
Let’s Pray: Holy Spirit, show us who we are in you. We confess that we have a limited view of ourselves at times. Give us a clear lens to see through. Show us where we’ve judged another harshly. show us where we’ve limited ourselves. Keep us in alignment with Your plan and purpose for our lives. Clear our thinking so we can be and do all that You have designed us to be and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.