April 2023

“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Won’t Win The Battle”

Have you heard the story of the farmer who had grown discouraged with his farm? Thinking that relocating would revive his diminished contentment, he contacted a realtor and hired him to assess his property and prepare a sales ad.

Wanting to ensure the farmer’s satisfaction, the realtor called to read his proposed description to him before sending the ad to print. The farmer listened carefully as the realtor’s voice painted a picture of a good location with a well-maintained house and sturdy barns surrounded by lush pasture lands of fertile soil, a beautiful pond and a great view. “Does this meet your approval?” he asked.

“Read that to me again, please...slowly” replied the farmer. So the realtor read it to him again. To his surprise, the farmer said, “You have described the place of my dreams. I have changed my mind; I am not going to sell.”

This is a great example of how one’s perspective of any given situation in life can make a world of difference in how he moves forward. When a person is deep in thought, we often say that we can “see the gears turning”. Seasons of life change; we will do well to guard against letting those gears turn in the wrong direction. Unguarded thought processes lead to what is called stinkin’ thinkin’.

Examples of stinkin’ thinkin’: thoughts of

  Worthlessness translates into “I stink” resulting in No Peace with myself 
  Loveless-ness translates into “You stink” resulting in No Peace with others
  Bitterness translates into “Life stinks” resulting in No Peace with God

We are not at peace with ourselves when we think “I stink!”, we are not at peace with others when we think “You stink!” and we certainly cannot be at peace with God when we think “Life Stinks!”

The good news is God has the antidote! Get rid of stinkin’ thinkin’!

Paul gives us great advice in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.

Paul emphasizes the need for a HEALTHY thought life. The Christian life is more than external; more than a list of rules, obeying the dos and refraining from the don’ts.

More challenging than obeying a set of rules, successful Christian living stems from the internal, promoting wholesome thoughts that produce godly character in action. Keeping our thoughts on things that please God results in the kind of true-life transformation spoken of in the Bible.

The human mind is designed to think on something. The question is - what will we set our minds on? Paul encourages us to think on the things that are pleasing to and bring honor to God. The Christian mind does not belong below, in the gutter, but our minds are made to be set on things high above. A sure way to experience revival of the mind is to have your thoughts set on things that are worthy of praise. Praise and thanksgiving are how a renewal of the mind begins.

NOTE: The religious spirit hates revival of any kind!

Notice that Paul does not say we are to no longer think any bad thoughts. Rather he simply says we are to think on good things. There is a difference. Try this experiment:

1. Close your eyes and picture just for a moment in your mind an African elephant. They are the largest animals walking the Earth. Do you see that elephant?
2. Now, stop thinking about that elephant. No longer have any thoughts of the elephant - the largest animal walking the Earth.

Do you find that difficult? I do. You cannot just stop thinking about something. In order to stop thinking about something you will need to redirect your thoughts somewhere else. Try picturing The Lion, it has a muscular, broad-chested body; short, rounded head; round ears; and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail now you are no longer thinking about the elephant.

That is the kind of help Paul offers. He does not just say, “Stop with the stinkin’ thinkin’”; he says
we will do best by filling our minds and meditating on the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Think on the things that are good and honorable.

What is your perspective concerning your family, your job, your church, your house; what do you look are you seeing? Do you look for faults and what is wrong or do you look for the best? The fact is there is good and bad in all things and every situation. What you choose to focus on makes the difference.

How many blessings have we missed because we could not focus on what was right but what was wrong? Sometimes, like the farmer, we need someone to show us the good in what we have been given.

  Let us think on things that are true. John 17:17 Your Word is truth
  Let us think on things that are right. Psalms 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works; and that my soul knows right well.
  Let us think on things that are lovely. 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.

Victorious by His Grace!

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