At this point in my life I just don’t have the emotional energy, time or space for fluff, shallow interactions and life draining, empty activities. That’s the truth.
The older I’ve gotten, I’ve changed. I prayerfully consider how I am going to spend my time, because my time belongs to God. But often we have the freedom to say yes or no to opportunities and people. It’s then I ask if this opportunity or commitment will be life giving or life draining. Our time is a precious gift. We need to use it wisely, investing in what matters MOST!
We become what we are surrounded by, so I do think we need to make sure we spend time with life giving people who sharpen and encourage us. I’m not talking about perfect people with their acts together…OH NO!!! I’m talking about real people with real lives, who speak the truth and are honest about their own struggles. From what I know, most of us fight the battle to think right.
Recently, I was wrestling with my thoughts. They were negative. I wasn’t in a good place mentally or emotionally. If I continued there I was definitely going to spiral down. But I kept asking myself, “What is true?”
Think on what is true. Every moment we are walking around breathing and talking, we are either speaking life or death. I ponder this truth and so often I fall short. The scripture below was very timely for me recently. My thoughts and words were on a downward spiral. I needed correction. God gave me these words to remind me that if I dwell on my flesh and selfish desires, it will lead only to death. But peace comes from yielding my life in surrender to Jesus.
Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 TPT
Life can be hard. If we don’t know what is true, we will become consumed with our problems and self-focused. That’s a dangerous place to be, because it can breed self-pity. According to Oswald Chambers, self-pity is evil. It will only lead to the death of a lot of good things in our lives.
So how do we walk wisely and not let our thought life become consumed by our problems? I think we have to go back to what God says in His Word. In fact, living wisely has a lot to do with letting God have the last say in our lives. It’s always wise to ask “What does God say about this?” Always.
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things. Philippians 4:6-8 TPT
Give thanks in all things…I know I say that a lot. But it’s so important and I have to remind myself to do it.
I know how uncertainty feels. I know how grief feels. I know how deep disappointment feels. I know how it feels to face mountains so big that unless God intervenes, we won’t make it.
Perspective matters! God’s ways are not our ways!
A grateful heart changes my perspective. I have learned to give thanks, even through tears. I can say that God is good even when my heart breaks and tears flow. I choose to believe that Jesus is enough and He will not fail to meet my needs.
But the battle isn’t easy! Circumstances can overwhelm. I can feel utterly defeated, discouraged and alone! Yes. I fight these feelings and thoughts. Overcoming my negative thoughts and struggles requires me to preach to myself. What I call, “Talking to Myself.” I must tell myself what is true!
Put on worship and praise music that speaks hope and encouragement over your mind and soul. Read the Bible and fill your mind with what God says about the situation and who you are in Him. Listen to solid biblical teachers on your favorite podcast app. Fill your mind with TRUTH. Overcome the lies that are screaming at you.
Praise is a powerful weapon of warfare. When you least feel like giving thanks…just do it anyway! Your circumstances may not change but your heart will and a grateful heart opens the way for God to move mightily.