"The mind is the most restless, unruly part of mankind. Long after you have learned the discipline of holding your tongue, your thoughts defy your will and set themselves up against Me [God]." Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
Sarah goes on to say that "your mind is the last bastion of rebellion." I don't like these words, nor do I like the thought that some part of me is so out of control, but it is true! My mind runs, and when it runs, my thoughts are not always good, profitable, or forward-moving. In fact, lately my mind tends to fall on one specific, negative thing. This particular thinking impacts my mood, my energy, my future thoughts, and my ability to "move on."
Do you have anything like that in your life? A thought about an event, person, or thing that comes into your mind and takes over in a negative way? Admittedly, sometimes I like dwelling on this negativity, but I don't like the feelings produced by this thinking. For a moment - in a sick sort of way - I find a bit of satisfaction or pleasure in this negative thinking cycle (probably because I get to choose a fairytale outcome). For those of us who have a relationship with God, I think Satan rejoices every time we find ourselves in this place.
Satan wants us stuck, distracted, and out-of-sorts. He wants us to live wounded, broken, and bitter. All of these are possible, and likely, when we allow Satan a playing field in our minds. Each time we give in to rehashing a painful event or rethinking an encounter with an unsafe person, we open our minds to negativity that leads to long-lasting bitterness and ultimately takes us further and further from our God-designed lives. We can not live extraordinary lives if we continue to think in this way.
How does an extraordinary person think?
Romans 8:5-6 states: "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace."
And how do we behave when controlled by the sinful nature? According to Colossians 3, we are full of anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and lies to name a few.
BUT the mind controlled by the Spirit is full of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.
I want to live out the latter list with my husband, kids, friends, acquaintances, and even my enemies. And if I want to live and think this way, I must train my mind. Right now I have an opportunity to train my mind, and let God control my mind, every day in one specific line of thinking. However, if I let this "sinful nature" thinking continue anger, rage, malice, etc. will creep out of my polluted mind.
The polluted mind does not produce an extraordinary life.
Is there a specific line of thinking (or time of thinking) that is running out of control? What are you doing to set your mind in the proper place?
(I’m Traci, the "Be Extraordinary!" blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)