We are always thinking something. …always.

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It can be a passing thought, a memory, a reaction. Our minds are running like a computer that never turns off…even when we sleep.

Passage

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,

2 Peter 1:5–6 ESV

As I consider this topic I “see” a path—think, believe, act. What we think about for long enough is the seed for what we believe and our actions are the fruit. Therefore our thoughts are the roots to the harvest we experience in our lives.

Process

I find it difficult to write about Christian thinking and use words like think, decide, reason, and such, because my mind immediately associates the words back to “thoughts”. Yet I am developing a greater appreciation for the complexity of this topic and find myself encouraged. I am encouraged because I believe we can live better lives by addressing our thoughts.

We all have thoughts, good, bad, indifferent. I believe the difference from that point is our commitment to exercise self control.

In today’s passage many characteristics of Christian growth are identified. However, our focus is on self control. Self control is the ability to exercise complete control over one’s desires and actions (Note 1). Another dictionary added control over impulses and emotions too (Note 2).

We are encouraged to exercise self control in all things or we may find ourselves tempted by the enemy. (See 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 7:5). We are warned that when we lack self control we leave ourselves exposed. (See Proverbs 25:28). 

The good news is scripture tells us that self control is produce in us by the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22-23). And it teaches how when to say “Yes” and “No” and to live in godliness. (See Titus 2:11-12).

[shareable cite=”Dana Pittman”]What we think about for long enough is the seed for what we believe and our actions are the fruit.[/shareable]

In 2 Peter chapter 1 the Apostle Peter begins by stating God has given us everything we need to live this life through the Holy Spirit. And then he implores us to “make every effort to supplement our faith”. My favorite translation say “to add to your faith”.

In a nutshell, you have what need. This does not mean you will not experience difficulties. But when you build your life on a foundation of faith God empowers you to do the impossible through His Spirit.

Isn’t that praiseworthy?!

I could end the post right here!!! But I won’t. 🙂

You have what you need but we live in a world full of influences that are enemies to our new self. (See James 4:4). Therefore, we are to actively add to our faith through growing in our character, actions and our thoughts. The adding to our faith through goodness, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, affection towards other believers and love will strengthen our resolve against anything that threatens to take us under.

We are not bound our thoughts but we have been empowered to control them.

The Principle

Christians are to make every effort to exercise complete control over one’s desires, actions, impulses and emotions.

Practical

We are going to continuing the task from last week. BUT start a fresh list (for this week), and keep the old list.

Grab a small piece of paper like an index card. I would like for you to carry it in your pocket all day. Write down your internal thoughts. If you think about the same thing more than once, place a check mark next to it.

At the end of the day, consider, whether your thoughts were God honoring and how you can shift your thoughts concerning those matters. Place the paper in your bible or somewhere for review at the end of the week.

Consider also: What are your most prevalent thoughts concerning? Are you controlling it or is it controlling you?

“Put It In Your Pocket”

I am empowered to control my thoughts. 

My Prayer

Father,

Thank you for faith, Your Son and Your Spirit.

It is at the heart of this perfect existence that I experience oneness with You. Thank you for providing the answers before I knew what to ask. Thank you for strength where I did not know I was weak. Thank you that you see the end before I even saw the beginning.

I pray for your power as I seek to think on good things and walk in the life you have prepared for me.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

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Day 12 Preview

I am planning to write about Matthew 7:1-5 tomorrow. Are you writing along? If so, comment and I’ll head over to your blog.

“See” you tomorrow.

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31 Days of Christian Thinking | Dana Pittman

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Notes:

Note 1. Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996.

Note 2. The Life Application Bible, New International Version copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

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