How to Have a Thought-Life You Can Be Proud Of

Our Mind Can Be Like Those Old Typewriters


How to Have a Thought-life You Can Be Proud Of

by Olga Hermans

 

In Deut 30:19, God says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses; therefore choose life.” He gives us an option, but He wants us to do the choosing.  A choice often means we can go the easy way or the hard way.  We can go the way we feel like going or we can go the way we know is right. To make a right and wise choice means we will probably have to discipline ourselves to do something we don’t feel like doing, but know is best.

As the Bible tells us, discipline doesn’t bring immediate joy, but it does bring lasting joy later on. The enemy is always out to destroy us and he often tries to do that by influencing us to make bad choices – to choose to do what feels good or is easy now, instead of what will be beneficial in the long run.

These choices may temporarily satisfy the flesh, but they don’t please God or satisfy us permanently. We should discipline ourselves to make good choices that honor God and His Word. God encourages His children to walk in the Spirit and the way we do that is by choosing to take time to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what we know is right even if it doesn’t feel good.

We’ve all known or know a time when we were in a disagreement with somebody and the air was filled with tension. You can choose to apologize and do what will restore peace or you can choose to stay angry and wait for the other to apologize; we have all been there.

So, what is more important? To be right or to choose for peace? The answer is that it is the right thing to make peace and if we don’t, we are sinning. God is our vindicator and if we need to be shown to be in the right, He will take care of that, but our part is to honor Him by doing what we know is right according to His Word. God can always work out the details but we need to make that quality choice to keep the peace.

You have to realize now more than anything that making right choices is the key to a happy life, and keeping our minds on right things is another one. Don’t let your mind wander around and do whatever it pleases. We have been given the spirit of discipline and self-control. You have been given a sound mind.

I love to sit beside my husband when we are riding down the road; I like to look out of the passenger side window while my husband is driving. He would give a smile if he would be reading this :), but my mind can go off on a drift or wander off onto something that is totally worthless and will not produce anything good in my life.

That doesn’t make me a bad person; it just means I have a choice to make. Will I be lazy and let it “drift”, or will I once again discipline myself to stop thinking that wrong thought and find something good and noble to think about?

I once heard an analogy that someone made; she said our mind can be like those old typewriters. We are focussing on something and our mind starts to wander away from us just like that handle on the typerwriter. I know this typewriter probably tells you my age more than anything else, but, when you start typing, that handle would go all the way to the right and you had to push it back to start e new line.

That is how our mind works, we are in a conversation or something, or reading a book or whatever we do and our mind wanders off…outside the window and we have to push it back just like that old typewriter. Do you get the picture?

My mind can drift when I am in a conversation with my husband, but it also happens when others are speaking and what they are saying really isn’t that interesting to me. It seems to be important to them, but it isn’t to me. My mind starts to drift to thoughts like: “I really have some more important things to do. Or, this is boring… or this goes way too far, I cannot believe this.” Things like that? Oh, you ever thought those things?

Then suddenly a message from my pastor or somebody comes up that we have to treat other people the way we like to be treated. Ouch!! We need to make the other person feel valuable, because they are. So, I am faced with a choice: do I walk in love and show respect for the person talking to me, or do I just pretend that I am listening while I have these wandering thoughts?

Are you surprised that these thoughts happen to me? Let me tell you a secret: they happen to everyone. We are not bad people because bad thoughts come to us but if we don’t resist them, we can become whatever we choose to focus our thoughts on.

The Bible tells us to seek good (1Thess 5:15). Seek means to make an attempt. We all have to seek to think right thoughts. It takes discipline and training, but we can do it. Determine today to set your mind on right things and discipline yourself to keep it set on them and you will enjoy the great and powerful life God has in mind for you.

When you find yourself stuck in a”wandering away” thought that is detrimental to you and you have a hard time staying focussed; get busy doing something good to bless someone. One thing you should not do is stay passive and merely wish you could get it off your mind. Be aggressive and refuse to lend your mind to the devil for his activity.

Remember that bad thoughts lead to bad moods and bad decisions, so don’t waste your time on anything that doesn’t add to the quality of your life. Think on that typewriter, I have to do that many times. 😉

You know, if we are deciding on what we think on or decide where our thoughts go; it all comes down to making decisions. We have to make a choice to activate our will to stay focused. Learn How to Make Decisions Like an Expert in 7 Easy Steps by reading our FREE Report.
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Comments

  1. I LOVE this article! I’m a huge advocate for “choices”. Thanks for your wisdom and insight. I know this stuff helps alot of people!!

  2. Great insight again Olga…thank you… it is so true what you said…”We all have to seek the right thoughts to think them” thanks!!

  3. I often refer to what you describe as ‘mind chatter’…the important thing is to remember we cant’ control what seeps in but we can control if it stays! Important lesson for children to help them understand the power they have in their lives Great article! 🙂

  4. I always enjoy your post Olga! This one reminds me of the Chinese proverb that says; You can not prevent the birds of unhappiness from flying overhead, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair.

  5. We are all human and have experienced our mind wandering while in a conversation. It does take control to bring it back and be respectful of the person you are with and start truly listening again. You reminded us that we have been given a spirit of discipline and control and we need to choose to use it.

  6. Our thoughts are so powerful – its so amazing what a difference we can make in our lives by changing our thoughts! It’s awesome that God gives us the ability to make choices about what we allow ourselves to think about.

  7. Randy Foster says:

    Great article Olga, I know what you are talking about; I think we are all guilty. I have decided, I made a choice 🙂 to keep my thoughts on the right track when others are speaking.. Even for myself, my thoughts can go on a rabbit trail, if I don’t pull back that handle. I like that picture! Thanks!

  8. I like that: thoughts wandering away when someone is talking. Great reminder to give respect and honor the person we are conversing with.

  9. Great post, Olga… How true that the greatest peace we can experience is when we are disciplined and CHOOSE to do those things we know are in accordance with God’s will; not always easy but very rewarding. Thanks for sharing and for the grace you share as well!

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