Only a few days into the New Year. Many have made resolutions. But what happens in January may be forgotten by March:
- Gyms gain new members that will all but disappear by then.
- Books longing to be read will be stacked in order to be read but not touched within weeks.
- Procrastination that was vowed to be left in 2015 will have to wait.
What is it you wanted to do differently in this year from years past? And how is it you want to be different in this year from years past?
Maybe the most difficult thing for any of us is change. And the place change starts is in our thinking. Dallas Willard has said “The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow our minds to dwell upon.”
How we think matters. And so thinking differently this year from how you thought last year is the starting place for whatever changes you want to see in your life.
For instance, many people will want to lose weight in the new year. Until you think differently about food it will be difficult to accomplish. Your ideas about food have to change. So you begin to think about food as fuel. You think of the options in front of you as either good fuel or sludge. You’d never want to put pure sludge down your gas tank, would you? Then why would you want to put it in you?
When you see food options that are full of bad calories, saturated fats, and processed “who knows what?” you find it easier to make healthier choices. Then you think about portions. And when your thinking changes your weight will too.
Or maybe you are tired of feeling negative about things. You can choose to think differently. Here’s an example. How many people have you heard complain about their Christmas break being over and having to go back to work? (Maybe it was yourself you heard?)
Change your thinking. Think about how great it was that you could have some time off with your family or how you were fortunate enough to be able to give and exchange gifts. And then think about how blessed you are to have a job you can go to. Talk to someone who has lost their job and see how well complaining about yours sits with them.
How we think matters. When we think better we live better. Thinking is the act of holding up a thought or idea or image and determining if it is true or is not true in light of what else we know to be true around us.
Thinking is especially needed when we think about God. This is why Jesus said we are to love God with our minds as well as our heart and soul and strength. Satan’s attack against us is in our thoughts about God. He will have us think wrong thoughts about God so that we doubt his care for us and go searching for other ways to fill our emptiness.
On every level change starts with how we think. The Apostle Paul taught to “Demolish strongholds… against the knowledge of God… take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Can you do that in 2016? Take captive every thought. Don’t let your thoughts attack you. You grab them and hold them up and inspect them. Then make them obedient to Christ and what he has thought. He is the greatest thinker to have ever lived.
Want to do differently this year? Think differently.
Want to be different this year? Think differently.
Give some thought to your thinking. Exercise your greatest freedom and decide what you will think on.
Question: What are of your life do you need to “think differently” in this year?