Friday, August 10, 2012

Mind Control


Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

We all have them.  But we don’t all know how to control them.  Worry is like acid to faith. A single thought can turn into a thousand possible futures.  If you let it stay with you long enough, you’ll begin to live in the land of sorrow and anxiety.  That’s not where God wants us to stay. 
I am a worrier, and I’m quite accomplished at it.  I can go on and on for hours over the smallest little thing!  I remember very well the night after the Eggers Ferry Bridge was hit and a large portion fell into the Kentucky Lake.  My son is a student at Murray State, and would travel that bridge home from time to time.  I lay in bed half the night wondering if he’d forget that it was out one night and fall right off the opening of the bridge into the lake.  Every imaginable thought, right down to him being trapped deep in the bottom of Kentucky Lake in his car came to mind.  Seriously now! How’s a 21 year old going to forget something as big as a missing part of a bridge?  But I didn’t control my mind, and it controlled me. I got very little sleep that night, and woke with the same feeling of depression and dread that I’d had all night long.

My favorite verse, Isaiah 26:3, says “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he TRUSTS in You.” At the root of all worry is a trust issue.  We don’t worry about the things we can control.  We worry about those that are out of our control.  But we know that all things are possible with God (ALL things).  So if we worry, we worry due to a lack of trust that God will handle our problems, or how He will handle them.
So what’s the key to stopping worry?  First, built your trust in God.  Once I figured out why I was worried about the bridge and my son, I realized that I wasn’t trusting God.  After a quick reflection on how good He has been to me, and I realized I could trust Him even with this!  I quickly prayed and gave it to God. Simply by saying “I trust you with this” it was over!  I could then begin to think on the things that give peace, which are the things that are pure, lovely, praiseworthy, etc…

Once you’ve handed your worry over to God, take that thought captive!  You decide what you think about.  Yes, you do in fact have control over your mind.  When those thoughts of dread and anxiety come to mind, redirect your thoughts.  Your mind has to be busy.  It’s not a cup waiting to be filled – there’s always something in it.  But you can pour what’s in it out and fill it up with something fresh.  Redirect your thoughts to things that are, as Paul says in Philippians 4:8, are noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, or praiseworthy.  Good thoughts lead to happy hearts.
God wants us to control our minds and live in the joy He has provided.  We have to choose what thoughts we let in there!  What comes into our minds does affect our hearts, and our hearts affect our behavior.  That’s just the mechanics of being human.  Horror movies, crime shows, murder mysteries, soap operas, daytime trash-talk shows – none of them belong in the Christian mind.  They are not good, pure, just, or anything God would desire us to put in our minds, and they DO affect your behavior!  You wouldn’t fill your body with junk food, so don’t fill your mind with junk either. 

When worry comes, trust God to handle it, turn your mind back to Him, and you will have perfect peace. 

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