“Are you a faithful steward of your mental life?”
This is the question asked by Tommy Newberry on Day 14 of 40 Days to a Joy-filled Life. God has given each of us an immensely powerful mind and free will to choose our thoughts. We can use this dominion to maximize our God-given potential, we can misuse it or even ignore it.
Newberry reminds us of the Biblical principle that you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7) and that if we sow sparingly we will reap sparingly but if we sow generously our harvest will be abundant (2 Corinthians 9:6). “You cannot think negatively and live positively any more than you can plant apple seeds and expect to harvest oranges,” he states. Whatever thoughts you plant in your mind will reap a harvest of like kind: worrisome thoughts produce worry, fearful thoughts bring fear, Philippians 4:8 thoughts planted in your mind produce the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galations 5:22 NLT). Persistent thoughts eventually lead to action.
There are many promises in the Bible. The best one of all is Eternal Life with Jesus. The people asked Jesus, “What exactly does God want us to do [to earn the food that gives eternal life]?” (John 6:28 CEV). In verse 29 “Jesus answered, “God wants you to have faith in the one he sent.” How did you receive salvation? You believed.
This is the way the Christian life works. In order to enjoy the promises of the Bible, you must believe they are true, and live your life based on those truths. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) tells us “it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” We can’t be wishy-washy about it either. James warns that if we are “as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind,” we shouldn’t expect to receive anything from God. Isaiah 26: 3 (NLT) says of God, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” Perseverance and consistency are key! You will harvest what you sow, either for good or bad.
The exercise of the day is to identify three of your most common thoughts, positive or negative. Describe the likely effect of those thoughts over time. Then, jot down the changes you are committed to making to improve your thought life. I have to constantly work to keep the weeds out of my thoughts and bring them back to the truth of God’s Word–He is for me and He will work all my circumstance together for good!
What kind of fruit are you growing in the garden of your mind?