Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ours for the Choosing


“The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act.” Rick Warren

The other day at Bible Study I had a lady remind me that “garbage in is garbage out.” Whatever it is we feed our minds it’s going to show up in our behavior. We can rest assure if we feed on insecurities and negative thinking it will eventually come out in the way we act.

End of note. Have a good day now its time to go visit our host for the day…..

No, no, no, no….back the thinking bus up we aren’t finished here yet. We need to figure out what comes first the chicken or the egg, the feeling or the thinking.

Too often we like to get the one ahead of the other. We stand by our conviction that it was someone else who “made us feel” a certain way which caused us to think and act as we did. As we all have been told our mind is the battlefield and how we conduct ourselves in these times of battle makes all the difference in the world.

Years ago when I was talking with a couple who had gone through marriage counseling they let me in on some of the things they had learned. Truths on both sides of the aisle that was helpful in their relationship. The husband learned that it wasn’t his wife who was “making” him mad. The fact that he was quick to lose his temper was his choice. No one “made” him angry it was triggered by what he was thinking and past habits dictating his current actions. It took awhile for this truth to sink in but he finally realized what the pastor had said was true. As much as he would have liked to continue to blame his wife for making him “feel” angry he took a step back and examined his thinking that led to the feeling that triggered the action.

It’s important we don’t make the mistake of allowing our feelings to run the show. We are the ones who need to be in charge of our feelings or emotions and it starts with our thinking, “garbage in, garbage out.” How we feel about ourselves dictates a lot on what we do. If we feel unworthy we will look for everything we possibly can to confirm how we feel. We frequently make the mistake of seeing our feelings as facts instead of exposing the thinking process behind them that started the whole thing.

The old saying of “the devil made me do it” is not a true statement. We do it to ourselves starting with our thinking that eventually leads to our actions. The time is now to start taking responsibility for our own actions and stop pointing our fingers at everyone else.

Our day-to-day living should never be based on how we “feel” but our calling from God as Christians. For example, there may be days we don’t “feel” like forgiving someone or encouraging another or whatever but that is what we are called to do. When our feelings don’t seem to match our faith we need to stand close to Jesus and allow His light to expose our thinking and walk us through these vulnerable times where footholds for Satan our easily made.

These are the thoughts that Karen had.
These are the feelings that came from the thoughts that Karen had
These are the acts that followed the feelings that came from the thoughts that Karen had.
These are the consequences that resulted from the acts that followed the feelings that came from the thoughts that Karen had.

This was all a lesson I had to learn for myself when I had epilepsy and 90% of my seizures were stressed caused. Guess where the process began….you got it….in my thinking. The consequences were increased seizures and a disability that was never going to end unless I made the choice to stop it. It doesn’t matter who we are or what issues we are dealing with we all have the same choice to make, the choice to stop it and get on track with our thinking to produce a harvest pleasing to God in our actions.


Copyright 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing

7 comments:

Laurie Ann said...

You wrote: We frequently make the mistake of seeing our feelings as facts instead of exposing the thinking process behind them that started the whole thing.


Amen! Your whole post was great, Karen. This stuck out to me as awesome. I loved it.

Susan said...

Karen,

GREAT POST!!

I love when you said,

When our feelings don’t seem to match our faith we need to stand close to Jesus and allow His light to expose our thinking and walk us through these vulnerable times where footholds for Satan our easily made.

Powerful!!!!!!!!!

Debbie said...

It's amazing how our thoughts do influence so much about us. When I was working as a nurse, many of the people who suffered from anxiety disorders and sometimes even heart disease had such turmoil, anger and blame thoughts. We have a choice how we respond. This was a great take on our quote.

MiPa said...

Karen this is great! As a counselor I never allowed someone to continue a sentence that began "you made me..." because it is so important to own our choices to accept an assessment or dismiss it. Thank you for a powerful post!

Denise said...

This was a really good post.

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

"If we feel unworthy we will look for everything we possibly can to confirm how we feel." This is so true. Our thinking needs to be guided by God's truth. I enjoyed your post.

Denise Hughes said...

Karen, I believe you have really touched upon a valuable truth when you say that we tend to look for things to confirm our feelings. Of course, this only leads us to further cast our feelings as "facts." And yes, especially during times of uncertainty or wavering feelings, we do need to stand close to Jesus and allows his light to expose our thinking. He is the Light, and in Him there is no darkness - not even darkness of thought. Amen.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.