Are You Positive That Your Get-up-and-go Has Gone Away?
Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was acting like my therapist the last time we spoke. I told him that I was in a slump, that my get-up-and-go had gone somewhere else. He said, “I think you are just lazy with your mind set on becoming a couch-potato! Get off your duff and get going. It is all in your head; change your thinking from being on empty of energy to being full of it.”
Apparently, Ed is not alone in believing that the root of our problems is in our minds. Our thoughts may ruin the quality of our lives if we do not to take control of them. We are to change them if need be. I told Ed that most folks do not change their minds or thoughts quickly. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. Ed responded, “Probably not with your doubtful attitude.”
I agree with Ed that there certainly is what is termed right thinking and what is wrong thinking. Good thinking might be that all cars should stop at red lights. It is a positive thought that seeks safety for all drivers. Wrong thinking could be that I can drive my car safely even if I have been drinking alcohol. It is easy to say those with wrong views should change their opinions unless we are thinking the wrong ideas. We may not consider that our thoughts are wrong or dangerous because we thought them.
The problem with our opinions is that they may not seem faulty to us until their damage becomes apparent. There is the story told of a man who announced his retirement to his company after a long and faithful career. The company asked the man to be the builder of one last house before his retirement, and he did. In his last home construction, his thinking slipped from demanding the best workmanship possible to just having enough standard to pass inspection. When the house was completed, the man was surprised to learn it was a gift from his company for his retirement. He received a house that was less than his best workmanship. There is a connection between what we think and do. How we have thought and acted may be with us for years. Do we control our thoughts or do our thoughts control us?
It seems that sound, positive or good ideas might be just a matter of opinion or debate. For Christians, our thoughts need to reflect God’s word or what He calls good and life enriching thoughts and actions. Thoughts of guilt and blame easily surface in our minds, and they usually are about failures either our own or those of others. Guilt and blame will not undue any failure. Such thoughts lead to resentment or bitterness and keep us locked in the past rather than moving us toward a better future. We can think about our sins or the sins of others, or we can reflect on the goodness and grace of God manifested by Jesus. Our guilt has already been paid for by his death, his shed blood, and suffering. We can make our thoughts captive to God’s mercy and forgiveness for ourselves and others.