Your Life is Shaped by Your Thoughts
By Rick Warren
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT).
God is far more interested in changing your mind than changing your circumstances.
We want God to take away all of our problems, pain, sorrow, suffering, sickness, and sadness. But God wants to work on you first, because transformation won’t happen in your life until you renew your mind, until your thoughts begin to change.
Why is it so important that you learn how to manage your mind? Let me give you three reasons.
Manage your mind, because your thoughts control your life.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts”(GNT). Your thoughts are powerful and have the tremendous ability to shape your life for good or for bad. For example, maybe you accept the thought someone told you when you were growing up: “You’re worthless. You don’t matter.” If you accepted that thought, even though it was wrong, it shaped your life.
Manage your mind, because the mind is the battleground for sin.
All temptation involves the mind. Paul says in Romans 7:22-23, “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin”(TLB).
One of the reasons why you get mentally fatigued is because there’s a battle in your brain 24 hours a day. It’s debilitating because it’s intense, and it’s intense because your mind is your greatest asset. Satan wants your greatest asset!
Manage your mind, because it’s the key to peace and happiness.
An unmanaged mind leads to tension; a managed mind leads to tranquility. An unmanaged mind leads to conflict; a managed mind leads to confidence. An unmanaged mind leads to stress. When you don’t try to control your mind and the way you direct your thoughts, you will have an enormous amount of stress in your life. But a managed mind leads to strength and security and serenity.
“Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6 NLT).
Talk It Over
What do you fill your mind with that pleases God? What do you fill your mind with that disappoints God?
How do you practice managing your mind?
What role does Scripture play in managing your mind?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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