Before we choose an action,
We have already chosen a thought.
Every action has a starting place. Every strong emotion has a beginning. There is a reason why the Father wants to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
How we think about ourselves dominates our behavior (Proverbs 23:7) and sets our agenda in life towards other people. It sets the attitude in which we approach life. An attitude is simply a posture that we adopt or a position we take that expresses some thought or feeling. It becomes a habit and shows up constantly in our behavior. It is a habitual mode of thought. Attitude is much more than a description of an antagonistically insolent manner or posture.
Low self-esteem is an attitude of mind that creates a sense of worthlessness in our own heart. Self-importance is a conceit, rooted in our thought life that produces an arrogance and an overbearing attitude. All behavioral attitudes in between these two extremes have their roots in a thought process. Working on our thinking is a key part of being disciple and led by the Spirit. All teaching must model the right way to live in Christ.
Every day we wake up with an attitude, a mindset that either works for or against us. Differing situations provoke a behavioral response that is positive or negative. Certain people bring out particular responses that govern our behavior towards them. These attitudes are rooted in perceptions and emotions that are entrenched in a thought. The mind is the seedbed for all that we do and say. Negative thoughts are always confirmed by unenthusiastic emotions. Positive thoughts cheerfully validate everyone and everything.
Jesus has set us free to learn how to become like Him. “Let this mind (i.e., have this attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant. Being found in the likeness as a man. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
The thinking of Jesus shaped His personality as a man. His persona as a bondslave. His ministry towards humanity and His humility and obedience towards His Father. He took on new mindsets, attitudes and approaches to life so that He could fulfill the purpose of His Father. All these were deliberate thoughts and actions on His part. He thought it through! He changed His thinking to accommodate the life that was required of Him. He was not double-minded and therefore unstable (James 1:8) in His thinking, emotions and behavior.
The reason that we are in our current position is always our thinking. Our thinking brought us here; and it must therefore take us out and onward. If all our thinking has brought us to a place that we don’t like, then surely it is time for a better thought!
Think of a situation that is causing stress in your life. What is the basis of your thinking and attitude about it? What would a better thought and attitude look like to you? Try the thought out and get a sense of how it feels to you. Does it reveal Jesus or empower you in the fruit of the spirit? Practice until a change occurs.
Graham is a popular speaker around the world with a passion to empower the people of God to walk in their true identity. He is a powerful, revelatory communicator with a radiant idea of Jesus, himself and the Kingdom of God. His life and ministry are marked by his delightful, intimate, and unreserved two-way friendship with the Lord.
To learn more about his ministry or purchase his books, please visit:http://www.brilliantperspectives.com/about/graham-cooke