Written by: Tim Wood
A number of years ago the National Science Foundations did a study and estimated that our brains process between 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day. I suppose a deep thinker would have more thoughts. NSF research showed that many of the thoughts people have are repetitive. Think about that. If we repeatedly have negative thoughts we can expect a negative outcome. The opposite would be true as well. If I can repeatedly think positive thoughts I can expect a positive outcome.
The bible says the following about our thinking, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8 ESV).
Another translation puts it this way: "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse" (THE MESSAGE).
The mind cannot be entirely at rest. It is not a blank. The corollary is that you cannot think two thoughts at the same time. What happens if you try to do this? We become anxious. Anxiety is the experience of being pulled in two directions – toward bad thinking and good thinking. And what is the result of this divided thinking? You become paralyzed (so to speak) by your anxiety. So, Paul gives us an exhortation to think about positive things. Think about Jesus Christ. Think about his Word.
Jesus is truth, he is honorable, he is just, he is pure, he is lovely, he is excellent and worthy of praise! As soon as negative thoughts enter your mind, focus your thoughts on Christ.
Mark Twain wrote, “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history.” What will you think about today?