Twelve years ago, one of my late university housemates repeatedly said this sentence to me: “It’s all in the mind”.
Back then, I did not comprehend what he actually meant. But as years passed by, I finally get what he meant.
HOW we think shapes the WAY we live.
To be honest, the past two months had been really challenging and demanding.
New job. New environment. New scope of work. New problems.
I’ve been so busy and so stressed. But I deep down I knew I needed to refocus my mind.
As this blog title says:
The mind is powerful and alive.
You see, when our minds are overtaken with worry, distress, anxiousness or discouragement, there’s simply only one thing to do. We have to remember.
Remember to refocus back our mind on the truths.
We have to take control of our thoughts, stop listening to ourselves and start talking to ourselves.
We have to preach to ourselves, lecture ourselves, exhort ourselves, remind ourselves daily.
In a nutshell, we must take Paul’s prescription for a better life — the practice of thinking.
Philippians 4:8 says:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
If you read the verse again, out of the thirty-two words in that sentence, only one word is an action verb, and the keyword of the verse — think.
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. (Proverbs 4:23 GNT)
If we have anxious thoughts, then we’ll be anxious people, because what we think is the most important thing about us.
We are what we think.
Our lives, attitudes, feelings, reactions, results, failures, successes, and personalities are formed by the strands of thought that tie our brain cells together like baling wire.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. — Henry Ford
This is an inescapable biblical fact, and Philippians 4:8 is by far one of the Bible’s greatest declarations about the power of our thoughts in molding our personalities and moving us into realms of God’s peace.
As Robert Morgan puts it:
We cannot overcome anxiety unless we learn to replace worried thoughts with worthy thoughts.
To live more and worry less, we must think and we must think rightly, on the right things, at the right time, on the right wavelengths, with our antenna tuned to the frequency of God’s truth.
Living in this globalized world with information at our fingertips, thinking has become an activity that’s fallen on hard times.
We’re too busy to think, and our minds are congested with noise.
It’s hard to meditate with our phones clamoring like pipe organ, incoming messages arriving like missiles, and headsets blaring like the Tower of Babel.
Now the IT and Internet Revolutions instantly deliver the cacophony of the world straight into our eardrums via a billion speakers and earphones.
We rush through traffic like salmon bolting upstream for spawning.
We’re bombarded by surrounded noise and besieged by stimuli.
We get anxious when our timelines does not match society’s timelines.
We feel depressed when our peers post their engagement, wedding, pregnancy or even new born baby photos on social media — unfortunately we do not have any of that to boast about.
Thus, we begin to lose focus on what matters most, the true spiritual effort, the spirit of Isaiah 30:15 (NKJV) — In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
Or even Psalm 46:10 (NKJV) — Be still, and know that I am God.
Nevertheless, when we learn to take time for thinking, and when we learn to think in the right way, the benefits come over us like a metamorphosis.
If you’ll listen quietly and in the stillness of His presence, the Lord is whispering the same words to you.
And He tells you to think about such things:
Whatever is true… noble… right… pure… lovely… admirable… excellent… praiseworthy — think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
“If you turn your cares over to Me and not worry about it, I will take care of it,” says God.
By the way, Happy Labour Day everyone.
Worry Less, Live More: God’s Prescription for a Better Life
By Robert J. Morgan