A New Normal: Choosing God’s Way of Thinking
It’s Thursday and we are invited to link up with Bonnie at Faith Barista
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
Throughout my life I lived not knowing what a real family life was supposed to be like. I was raised in a highly dysfunctional home. The problem was that I didn’t know that. It was my normal. I was also told that I was lucky to have the home life I had. So, I didn’t know any different.
The way of thinking I acquired was one of twisted thinking due to addicted family members, those suffering from depression, anxiety, and chronic illness, sexual abuse, and more. When I left home I took that way of thinking with me. I looked through those glasses and related to the world around me as if they were the ones who were abnormal.
One such way of thinking resulted in being a people pleaser. This was due to the fact that I was given love in proportion to my actions. If I did what I was supposed to do then I was pleasing to others, but if not I faced rejection and ridicule. If I did what others wanted then I would be rewarded with love. So I did what others wanted and even developed a perfectionist attitude towards life. I needed to be perfect. I lived with the fear that if I didn’t then I wouldn’t receive love. I wouldn’t be accepted, and I was desperate for love and affection. It took years and a great deal of God’s grace and love for me to realize I only needed God’s love and acceptance, and both were freely given to those who received.
We all have ways of thinking that we acquired from childhood. As we grew into adulthood we began to live life discovering and learning things that shaped additional ways of thinking. As I left home and got married unfortunately I took wrong thinking about what love really was with me. I ended up in an abusive marriage and for five years did everything I could to make him love me. Only the abuse didn’t stop, and I was afraid for my daughter so I left. I didn’t want her to grow up believing a man was supposed to treat a woman that way. It was hard to leave because I believed marriage was for life and that it would work out. The problem was we didn’t have God in our lives. I would whisper prayers, cry out to God, but I really didn’t know who he was, and thought he was basically up in the sky waiting to punish me for my sin. That He was someone I called when I had a problem. After all I grew up in a home where I was told that I was going to hell if I did wrong, and the only time we prayed was when something went wrong. I didn’t know that a man was supposed to love a woman as Christ loves the church. I didn’t know a lot of things.
A New Normal
Years later, I had an encounter with God that would change my life and my way of thinking. I began to take in God’s truth. Biblical truth that became my new normal. Normal basically means the accepted. So I decided it was time to trade my thinking in for the accepted way of thinking offered in the bible. The kingdom of God way of thinking. I figured that my maker knew more about how I should live my life and how I should think than anyone else.
Today I am still renewing my mind with the word of God. It will carry on until I go home to meet Him. So many people really have wrong mindsets and the only way their life is going to change is by humbling themselves before God whose thoughts are higher than ours, whose ways are higher than ours. It doesn’t feel right, it is hard to do because it takes constant work, but it is worth it when we realize that truth is in our heart and not just our mind.
Recently God has been teaching me in my quiet time to remember who He is. As well as, who He says I am and what He has promised me. He is reminding me to cling to Him and the truth He has taught me. He is teaching me to speak out the truth I have stored up in my heart. I have a new ministry opportunity where I will finally be ministering out of my life experiences to others. He is using what Satan meant for evil to do good in the lives of others. As I step out nothing is more important than my way of thinking, and what I say. So I am taking time daily to confess the truth of His word over myself until it takes root in my heart. He is teaching me of His acceptance and though I am being persecuted for my faith and obedience to Him, sometimes even by family members, He is for me and not against me. He is teaching me to receive His grace, His mercy, and His promises so that I can share what He has given me with others.
What negative thinking do you need to trade in for God’s way of thinking? What are the words you need to speak over yourself as you step out into this dark world to share God’s truth? <3 Melinda
Here is some of what God has to say about our thoughts and our words which are a result of them:
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. (Psalm 26:2-3)
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. (Psalm 51:6)
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
A man’s belly with be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth, and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. (Proverbs 18:21)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. (Proverbs 27:19)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (I Corinthians 14:20)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)