Today I want to talk about how our thoughts effect us. One of Charles Swindoll’s famous quotes is “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to what happens to you.” What does our life really consist of? Why do we do the things we do? How do we perceive the world around us?
The connection between what happens to us and how we respond is our thoughts. We never know what we’re going to experience from day to day. Our experiences can be either positive or negative. For example, we might experience loss, failure, relationship problems; or promotion, reward, or success. Scripture says that the sun rises on the good and the evil and the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). In other words, we live in a world that contains both good and evil and we are going to be on the receiving end of both.
I am amazed at how powerful a person’s thoughts can be. Regardless of what happens to us, our thoughts are what determines our actions. Have you ever been around people who had something really great happen in their life, but they reacted negatively as if they didn’t deserve it? Then again, have you ever been around people who had something really bad happen in their life, but they reacted as if everything is ok? We all know people that fit into both categories. The question is, how do I react to life’s circumstances?
Check your 90%.
1. Become aware of your initial reactions (words and behaviors). Are you offensive, rude, critical or condescending?
2. Become aware of how others reactions to you. Are they short with you, avoid you or ignore you?
3. Become aware of your emotions. Are you angry, sad, feeling alone or rejected?
4. Become aware of your thoughts. Are you thinking failure…doubt…fear…defeat…insignificance…
If you look at the self-check backwards from #4 to #1, you’ll see that thoughts create emotions which create behaviors. Eventually the behaviors become habits that you don’t even realize.
Change your 90% by changing your thoughts.
1. Change your thoughts by changing your words. Speak life not death; faith not doubt; winner not loser; love not fear.
2. Immediately reject thoughts that defeat you and replace them with what God’s word says about you.
3. Choose not to meditate on things that are not true or that are simply speculation.
4. Choose to respond the right way regardless of what you think about it.
Remember, get the words right and you’ll get the thoughts right; get the thoughts right and you’ll get the emotions right; get the emotions right and you’ll get the behaviors right. Get the behaviors right and you’ll get the right life…that which is lovely and excellent and worthy of praise!
I would love to hear your comments regarding how thoughts effect our lives.