Writer William Arther Ward once wrote: “Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed thinking.” In other words, what we think and the way we think will shape our worlds.
I read about a research study by a Dr. J. Haskins, who spent 12 years researching the effects of media on how people think. One study group listened to programs with negative news 5 minutes a day. The other group listened to more uplifting and positive news.
- The negative group was more depressed than before
- They believed the world was a negative place
- They were less likely to help others
- They began to believe that negative things would soon happen to them
Their concept of reality was shaped by their thoughts.
Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not talking about some Neo-level world manipulation like in The Matrix.
But the things we focus on, dwell on, meditate on, will shape our realities and our course in life. Just ask any ad exec. Once they can get you hooked in your mind, the decision to buy it will quickly follow. What you put into your head become your reality.
Pastor Chip Ingram uses this to talk about our paths toward good or bad consequences.
He says, “If you want life to dramatically change—to get out of a rut of destructive emotions or bad habits—it all begins with what goes into your mind.” Thus the Apostle Paul writes:
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
So what are you dwelling on? When you’re on a long drive, when you’re relaxing at home, when you’re channel surfing…what are you putting into your mind?
There’s an old expression that says: GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT. If you fill your mind with garbage that’s what your life will be filled with. If you follow the Bible’s guidance, filling your mind and life with God-thoughts will produce good fruit.
So here are 4 quick tips to start filling yourself with good thoughts and to eliminate your stinkin’ thinkin’!
- Memorize/meditate on Scripture
- Use drive time to listen to something meaningful or to ponder deep truths
- Experience great art (visual, music, literature, etc.)
- Take walks to examine/appreciate God through nature
What about you? What are some ways you fill your mind with God-thoughts and eliminate negative thoughts? You can change your outcome and behavior by changing your brain!