The Power of our Thoughts

This was my sharing on the Disciples group chat months ago.

Recently, my student asked me for “tips on how to get rid of general moodiness”. Immediately, I thought how ironic it would be of me to give her any advice because it is one of my biggest struggle – I have the tendency to slip into this euphemistically-termed “moodiness” quite a lot (I prefer to call it my “dark place”).  As she is a non-believer, all I could tell her is that I have no advice; I could only empathise. Usually, if the other party is a Christian, I would say “pray about it” because y’know, God is bigger than our problems and that is our privilege as believers to have the Holy Spirit intercede for us whenever we stumble. But who am I kidding, my text-book answer “PRAY ABOUT IT” is usually my last resort (as you can see from the following steps I take whenever I enter the “my dark place”), that’s probably why it remains a struggle.

 

  1. Sink deeper; dwelling in my negativity and just being consumed in the darkness – totally not dealing with it and making it worse
  2. Wait it out – because they say time heals everything
  3. Connect with the Holy Spirit – the reason why I have that state of “moodiness” is usually a sign of a disconnection with the Holy Spirit

 

So today, I want to share about The Power of Your Thoughts because it’s something I am working on and I pray that it can be my testimony in future.

 

It’s amazing how quickly and completely our thoughts can change our moods. Sometimes when we are not disciplined in thinking about what we think about (woah woah woah), we might fall into the trap of allowing the devil to manipulate our minds and draw us from the Holy Spirit.

 

Proverbs 18:20-22The Message (MSG)

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.

21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Our words begin with our thoughts, so the same principle that applies to our mouths also applies to our minds. We need to remember that our thoughts hold the power of life and death. God has given us the ability to make choices about so many things in life, including our thoughts, and we must be responsible to make those choices carefully.
It is interesting to note that Paul says that we must be transformed by the renewing of our “minds.” The gospel is a call for the unbeliever to repent of his sin and embrace Christ by faith. The Greek word translated “repentance” carries the notion of a change of mind. Our thinking must be changed (transformed) from old, ungodly ways of thinking into new, godly ways of thinking. What we know in our minds to be true forms a conviction in our hearts of that truth, and that conviction in our hearts translates into action. Therefore, we must first renew our minds.

The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is His revealed Word, the Bible. Transformation through renewed minds comes as believers expose themselves to God’s Word through the faithful exposition of it each week in church, personal Bible study, and group Bible study. A solid church that believes in preaching the Word, reading the Word, and singing the Word is invaluable in helping us renew our minds.

There are no shortcuts. There is no magical formula for renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with God’s Word. As Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

 

I remember when I was doing the Church Introductory Class course with Johann, this was the part that spoke to me most – the part about repentance being a continuous action. We have to renew our minds EVERY SINGLE DAY. We will have to discipline ourselves to think properly and to guard against falling into old thought patterns which can happen very easily, I can attest to that L The usual old thoughts I have are those of condemnation and insecurity. Often, I question my worth, the reason for my existence. Then it goes in a vicious cycle; I go into a deep dark place. BUT BUT BUT I know God’s Grace is sufficient for me and I don’t have to feel bad about doubting His love for me. I just need to ask for His forgiveness, replace the damning thoughts with God’s promises and keep on meditating on His Scripture, for it will breathe new life into my decomposing soul.

 

A sister-in-Christ once told me that we should not bow down to seasons of emotions. There is no annual season of joy or pain, like the uncontrollable tossing of the sea. I feel the pain, but to pain I will not obey. My joy is not a season. My joy and my peace is His constant presence. His presence is my lifeline; my presence is His greatest joy. Let me remember that my cup is never half empty or half full — my cup is in Him and my cup runs over and over, always.

 

Thank you for reading and I know my sharing today is not like epically inspiring/encouraging cos it’s not a testimony (YET), but I pray that it will STILL be a reminder/encouragement for some of you because I know most of us also struggle with negative thoughts from time to time.

 

Here’s a poem to tide us through our stormy season
Jesus draw me ever nearer

As I labour through the storm.

You have called me to this passage,

and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,

May I rise on wings of faith;

And at the end of my heart’s testing,

With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;

Keep my spirit staid and sure.

When the midnight meets the morning,

Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial

Form within me as I go –

And at the end of this long passage,

Let me leave them at Your throne.

Good Enough.

2+2=5

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My whole life I was never good enough.

You always wanted me to be wiser, prettier, livelier, quieter, funnier, sweeter, quicker, wittier, lovelier, fatter, thinner, taller, stronger, calmer, thriftier, bigger, louder, richer, sexier, smarter.

I am never good enough for you.

Is this an Asian thing? Where putting someone down is deemed good education, so that we do not get too certain of ourselves? We are often obligated to say “I am humbled…I don’t deserve this…I am so blessed…I am so grateful…”. Until these words no longer mean a thing.

One day if I am a parent, a teacher, a leader, a friend, a wife, a partner, I will tell you, you may not be good enough. But you are good enough for me. I just want you to be happy.

Don’t apologize for who you are and how you work.

We only have one life. Celebrate it. Please.

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the man(ipulator)

You twist my words and made them into weapons to set me against my people. You conniving little one, planting seeds of doubt when I’m at my most vulnerable; you sow discord disguised as good will. You are a poison.

We are made to be more.

“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than what you are now.”

“I don’t wanna be more. I like who I am!”

“You don’t even know who you are.”

What if we realise that we are made to be exceptional, to be victorious, to be conquerors even after failing million times over? What would become of us?

Paralysing self-doubt

When self-doubt paralyzes you, you question whether you actually mean anything to anyone. And when you finally come to terms that you don’t, do you then decide that it’s not worth trying anymore?

Freedom of speech = Free to speak?

You try to be tactful but you risk downplaying the situation; you end up euphemising issues. You try to be sensitive but end up being passive aggressive.

We are given the freedom of speech, but we cannot freely speak.

This/That

You don’t want people to think they have you all figured out.

You want to be dependable and faithful but you don’t want to be predictable.

You want to be flexible and adaptable but you don’t want to be indecisive.

You want to be open-minded and balanced in your perspectives but you don’t want to risk being contradictory.

You want to maintain your cool and composure but you don’t want to seem too laidback.

How are you drawing your boundaries?

Train your mind to see the good in everything

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When you are trained and conditioned to spot mistakes in your students’ sentence structures, spelling, content relevance, behaviour, attitude, attire (…the list goes on) every single day, there is a tendency to forget that there are more to them. I am guilty of pedantically focusing too much on my students’ language abilities and their attire at times.
At other times, it feels completely justifiable because some people are just evidently irresponsible, imcompetent, immature etc… It’s so easy then, to perceive and treat them as a summation of their faults and bad qualities.
This serves as a reminder for me every single day – to see the good in SEEMINGLY incorrigible people and in seemingly horrible situations. And to notice the good even in myself.