TRANSFORMING OUR THOUGHTS
80,000 thoughts per day!
Yes, according to scientific studies, the average person has approximately 80,000 thoughts per day. What is disturbing about this statistic is the fact that 90% of those thoughts are repetitive and 80% are negative. That is why it’s crucial we arm ourselves with God’s truth by saturating our minds with scriptures to deflate our critical self-talk and insecurities. If we do not choose which thoughts we allow ourselves to think, they are likely to be negative. Imagine what would happen to us and those around us, if we woke up each morning with a commitment to think good thoughts!!! (Philippians 4:8)
As believers in Christ living in a fallen world, we can expect to face challenges and trials in life. In fact, in His final moments with the disciples, Jesus says, “…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Even with this knowledge, it’s hard to resist feelings of self-doubt and fear when we are backed into a corner and there appears to be no way out.
It certainly was challenging for me when I found myself backed into a corner that I never expected.
In 2016, I went through an excruciating divorce because of infidelity and emotional abuse. Once the truth about my marriage began to surface, I wrestled with feelings of self-doubt, lack of worth and the inability to trust my judgment when making decisions. I am a die-hard Jesus girl with a deep passion for the Lord and an atypical thirst to study the Bible. Feelings of intense guilt and shame heaped themselves on top of my heavy heart and made the burden of brokenness intolerable.
I imagine you may have experienced this cycle of defeating thoughts at times as well. Our past hurts, disappointments and rejections settle into the deepest recesses of our hearts. They have a negative impact on what we believe about ourselves, what we believe about others and, most importantly, what we believe about God. These false beliefs can turn into “self-created” labels that affect our identity. (We may wear labels of insecurity, self-doubt, hopelessness, despair and depression, among others). We will never be able to move beyond the pain of our circumstances until we set our hearts and minds on God’s promise to use EVERYTHING for our good. (Romans 8:28)
Despite what our feelings and emotions tell us, despite what circumstances we find ourselves in, we must choose to trust that God will not only make a way out of our “desert” – but also use what was meant to hurt us for our greater good. Trust me, I understand firsthand how impossible this sounds when you are in the middle of the storm. There were days when my mind was so inundated with lies from the enemy my only defense was to declare God’s word out loud, over and over again – “You will keep her (him) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because she (he) trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Imagine how much joy, satisfaction and contentment we would experience in our daily lives if we chose to replace “lies” with “TRUTH”. Imagine if we make a conscious effort to pay attention to our thoughts and ask ourselves: “What was I thinking about just prior to feeling anxious/worried/afraid?”. What thought, lie, fear, disappointment or rejection triggered those emotions?” before our emotions run wild in response to some lie, fear or “what if.”
Use this method to identify one main worry or concern that repeatedly surfaces in your daily life.
Then do a word search or use a concordance in the back of your Bible to identify scriptures that speak to that specific worry. Look for key verses where God promises to deliver His children from that stronghold or weakness.
I challenge you to pick one specific verse to focus on for the next seven days.
As you go throughout your day, pay close attention to your thoughts and your emotions. When you feel anxiety or worry beginning to take hold of your emotions, identify the thought(s) that triggered/preceded your anxiety and replace them with your chosen scripture that refutes your specific concern.
Write this Scripture down, memorize it, speak it out loud. Be creative in the way you reinforce this Truth and allow it to penetrate deep into your heart, mind and soul. Here are a few examples that have worked well for me:
- Post it on your bathroom mirror or someplace you will see it several times throughout your day.
- Use your cell phone voice memo app or other device to record yourself reciting relevant scriptures so you can listen to them throughout your day and again just before going to bed.
- Download and print out the scripture memory card shown below and use it as your weapon against negative thoughts over the next week. (Just right click on the image and save it.)
When we apply God’s Word to our daily thought patterns we are planting seeds of truth that can be sown into our lives and the lives of those around us.
Kelly Kirby is an artist, writer and Jesus girl with a passion for helping others discover and embrace the beautiful woman of God they were created to be. She enjoys spending time with God each day, playing tennis, yoga, paddle boarding and making custom designed jewelry. Kelly has a heart for missions and is a dedicated supporter of Fallen Sparrow, a 501c3 organization created in 2008 to help provide funding for the care of at-risk children.