November 21, 2020
One of life’s greatest lessons I continue to apply is that my attitude affects my experience. How I am able to choose how I think has a direct correlation to a happy fulfilled life. I was a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic when it came to the idea that if I just think happy thoughts I’ll find happiness. It couldn’t be that easy. What I have found that it isn’t EASY, but it is that SIMPLE.
Dr. Carolyn Leaf has so many teachings on neuroplasticity (our brains are flexible) that are worth exploring. She has researched the theory that we can create a new way of thinking that actually changes our physical world. We were designed with a creator “God”-chip that allows us to manifest new realities through our thoughts. This is why it is so important that we take ownership of how we think.
If you find yourself in a pattern of misfortune you can easily fall into the trap of believing that another tragedy or inconvenience is waiting just around the corner. However, we always have a choice of how we approach our circumstances. Positive people tend to experience positive events. Negative people tend to experience repeated negative events. We all know someone who never has anything optimistic to say. You know those friends who are always complaining about the weather, their ailments, how expensive things are, and that they never can catch a break. On the flip side, I’m sure you also know people who seem to have favor wherever they go. Good things are always happening to them. This is not an accident. Those people experience the same setbacks life sends to all of us. I am confident that it is simply the way they choose to think about them and move forward in hope, peace, and joy.
I was one of those stinking-thinking people. I called myself a realist but really I was a pessimist. Then I married an enthusiastic optimist. My husband is “Dory”…he just keeps swimming. He sees opportunities in every situation. It was harder for me to adopt this way of thinking that I thought. It took some serious scripture study as well as significant faith but I can say that I am now well on my way to being an optimist!
What were the main changes I made?
Here are a few of the scriptures that were pivotal in my stinking thinking recovery.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
As someone thinks within himself, so he is. – Proverbs 23:7
Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:2
God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1: 7.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
We know a lot more about how our brains work and how our thoughts influence our reality. I love that scripture aligns with what science is now confirming. It gives me a sense of awe and gratefulness that we have a God that gives us free-will to choose how we experience life. If you are struggling in a negative season it is especially hard to overcome doubt, fear, and pessimism. Take a few of these scriptures and let it encourage your faith. God gives us the ability to thinking differently. He designed us to create a life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)