“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.”
- Proverbs Chapter 4, verse 23
Our thoughts and our feelings of love and desire dictate, to a great extent, how we live.
Ever heard this famous quote?
“Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
What your actions, they become habits.
What your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
This is actually based on a biblical principle. Solomon tells us to guard our hearts about all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections lead you in the right direction. And therefore, put boundaries on your desires.
Our minds are the most vulnerable aspect of our being and they truly affect every aspect of life.
Proverbs chapter 23, verse 7 says, “As he thinks in his heart so is he.” Therefore, we are truly accountable for every thought and decision we make.
Currently, I’ve been reading a book by Dr Caroline Leaf called “Switch On Your Brain” and it has been truly eye-opening.
In the book she explains how current research shows our thoughts can actually change the physical shape of the cells in our brain and body.
How powerful is that?
“What you think with your mind changes you brain and body, and you are designed with the power to switch on your brain.” – Caroline Leaf
The brain is constantly reorganising/”renewing” itself and it does this by changing its structure and function, solely through our experiences and what we put in.
DNA actually changes shape in response to our thoughts, and Caroline Leaf gets straight to the point when saying “the wrong choices cause brain damage; however, the right choices enhance brain function.”
My sister, Catherine, is currently studying Neurological Rehabilitation in her Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Studies. She was telling me how powerful the brain is at repairing itself just through a pure sense of hope and desire to get better.
Many amputees experience a phenomenon known as “Phantom Limb Syndrome.” An example of this is when someone touches an amputee’s fake limb, and the amputee can actually feel the exactly sensation as if they still had their limb.
This shows how malleable and changeable the mind and brain are; and how a simple thought can lead to a real feeling and more.
Your thoughts are what creates your dreams and your future. Whatever you put your mind to is what you become.
In the same way you can channel your thoughts to bring about positive attitudes and positive change, you can also cause yourself real harm.
You can set yourself up for failure or you can set yourself up for greatness.
We are living in a society where anxiety and depression are widespread. Where worry has overtaken many people’s minds, controls their choices and affects their happiness.
Due to this, many people limit themselves or set themselves up for failure by artificial handicapping.
Artificial handicapping is when you make an excuse for POTENTIAL poor performance.
For example, having the thought “how could God ever use someone like me?” so when an opportunity comes around for God to use you, you ignore because you think you’re not good enough.
The problem with handicapping is that you make excuses that leads you to believe those excuses. From this, you put less effort into tasks which then leads to poor performance.
Not failed until ….
But instead we need to understand, they you have not failed ‘until’ you have given up!
And even when we do fail, it doesn’t define us. Who we are isn’t based on how well we perform at times or even people’s perceptions of us.
Nahum chapter 2, verse 2 says,
“Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah, the Lord will restore its honour. Israel’s vine has been stripped of branches, but He will restore its splendour.”
We can give all our burdens and worries to God, we are considered his children and he proclaims us to be free.
“Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians Chapter 10, verse 5
We are accountable for every thought and decision we make.
The battle has already been won, even the battle in our mind.
“And no not conform any longer to the patterns of this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
- Romans Chapter 12, verse 1
If our brain can get worse by constantly focussing on the problems and issues in our lives, then how much better can our brain and direction of our lives get by eliminating and replacing the problems in our lives with good things, especially by focusing on the promises of God?
“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 and praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Philippians Chapter 4, verse 8
Mary Lengo is a medical student at Flinders University and leader at her local church. She lives with her family in Adelaide and has a passion for the political arena. Mary aims to write from a personal and practical stance to share the love of God and see people live for him.