– John Maxwell
What You Think, You Are!
King Solomon wisely wrote about mankind, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7a), or in other words, what we think we are…we are! We are what we think, not what others think, meaning we can control to some extent, what our attitudes will be. We can live in a state of contentment or choose to be discontented. God doesn’t force us to have a certain attitude, but we are responsible for what we think and how we act. An attitude of gratitude is best…and it’s best to continue to choose an attitude of gratitude.
Reap a Destiny
The thing about our human nature is we’re creatures of habit. Many of these habits are good, such as brushing our teeth and taking a bath, but other habits can lead to problems. Drugs or alcohol, compulsive shopping, neglect of spouse and children, and other such things, if done often enough, can lead to ruined relationships and a ruined life. It is at the end of the spectrum of how we become who we are: We sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action; reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character reap a destiny.
What is Lovely
I love the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil 4:8). If you are thinking pure thoughts, you’ll more likely avoid lustful thoughts. If you’re dwelling on what is honorable, you’ll probably give “respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Rom 13:7b).
Putting on Christ
The Bible tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14), and twice we’re told to “put on the new self” (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10), and here’s what that looks like: Having “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Col 3:12). Christ does not put Himself on you; you (and I) must put Him on. That means we must take the initiative and intentionally seek to put on Christ by putting His Word (the Bible) in our minds. It’s not simply “letting go and letting God” but put on Christ by taking action. By putting His Word in our minds by consistent Bible reading and study, we can more easily have the mind of Christ (1st Cor 2:16; Phil 2:5) because we’ll know the mind of Christ. That should match our putting “on the new self” very nicely.
We need Jesus’ help in choosing our attitudes. We need the Spirit’s prompting to have His way in our life and choose contentment. We all need to put on Christ and think of those things that are lovely, like His Word, and that will change the way we think. Choose contentment, thankfulness, and praise, and your attitudes will almost choose you!