To Change Your Life, Change Your Thoughts
By Rick Warren
"Happy are those who . . . find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do." Psalm 1:1-3 (GNT)
If you want to change your life, start by changing the way you think.
Changing your thoughts is the key to a fresh start in any area—a hobby, a career, a relationship, marriage, or parenting. Ephesians 4:23 says, "Be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude]" (AMP).
What is a renewed mind? It means you have fresh thoughts and fresh attitudes. It means you take your wrong attitudes and thoughts and surrender them, letting “God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect” (Romans 12:2 GNT).
You renew your mind by doing two things:
First, listen to God's Word more than the world. The Bible says, "Happy are those who . . . find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do" (Psalm 1:1-3 GNT). Would you like those characteristics to be true of your life? If so, then meditate on God's Word every day.
Second, think about what you think about. Instead of automatically accepting every thought you have, challenge your thoughts. When you have a thought, ask questions like: Do I want to think about this? Is this really true? Is this helpful? How does it make me feel—and do I want to feel that way?
All your feelings are caused by thoughts. If you don't like the way you feel, then you need to change the way you think. Simply take the thought causing bad feelings and replace it with a different thought.
The Bible says, "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts" (Proverbs 4:23 GNT).
Instead of playing old tapes over and over again in your mind, confront those thoughts. What you think about is your choice, and you don't have to believe every thought you have. When you confront a thought that you know isn’t true, you can choose to change what you’re thinking! You can replace it with God’s truth.
The only way to know truth is to get in God’s Word. The more time you choose to spend in God’s Word, the more his truth will help you change your thoughts.
Start changing your thinking today. It will give you a fresh start, and eventually it will change your life!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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