Choosing happiness is not something I ever even thought about until recently. I have spent most of my life blown along and deeply affected by the circumstances around me. I allowed those people and events influence my emotions and in turn my actions without even realizing that it didn’t have to be this way. I was a much more reactive person that was easily hurt instead of a proactive person in charge of my own thoughts and feelings. I still have light years to go in mastering this concept, but awareness is the first step and I absolutely have that one covered.
The Bible talks about our mind and our ability to take control of our own thoughts, but it’s a skill that few of us try to improve upon and fewer still ever even think about. If it were an impossible task, God would not tell us to do it. He definitely is aware of our limitations and yet He tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So clearly it is something we can do, should do, and as I have found, NEED to do. Once I discovered that I don’t have to just accept every thought that pops into my head as absolute truth, I began to realize just how often I had been believing lies about myself and others… Lies about my worth, my influence, my purpose, my significance and lies about what other people were thinking about me.
I am here to tell you that once you start paying attention to what you’re thinking and actually challenging the truth of that thought, your entire outlook on your life will change… in a good way! But it doesn’t stop there! The next step is REPLACING the lies with what is true. This is sometimes the hard part (especially if we’ve been believing the lies for quite sometime) but what is especially powerful is replacing my untruthful thoughts with the truth about how God views me.
2 Corinthians 10:5 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When we take captive those lies and turn them into truth, the weight and burden of all those negative thoughts is lifted and the freedom that emerges is what gives birth to a beautiful, vibrant joy. Is this an easy process? Absolutely not! But so worth the effort! Some days I don’t feel like choosing happiness (challenging my thoughts) because it does take energy and focus but if I don’t do it, it always ends up hurting me, rendering me ineffective in the tasks of the day and beat down by the negative thoughts about myself.
I now have a new way to start my day and it centers around focusing my mind and attention on this verse…
Philippians 4:8 8Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.
I CHOOSE to think about such things and happiness is always hovering right around these thoughts….
Have you ever questioned your own stream of consciousness? What did you learn about yourself?
**I am not a therapist or doctor, if you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please call this number 1-800-273-8255 or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org You matter!
**I am also not a scholar, a pastor, or church leader of any kind…I’m just a regular lady who happens to have a sweet relationship with Jesus. If you have questions about how you can get to know Him too, feel free to email me any time.