Correct Wrong Thinking

📅 May 6, 2020

We have all exaggerated the size of a problem, imagined it impossible to solve, only to come face to face with it and watch God work on our behalf.

We have all speculated about what someone else thinks about us or their motives in acting a certain way only to find out later we were mistaken.

How often have you found yourself replaying negative thoughts again and again, only to come back around the conclusion that you cannot be forgiven, cannot forgive, cannot see a way out of a problem?

How often our minds deceive us and hold us captive.

We must consistently make an effort to “stay our minds” on God and be kept in “perfect peace,” as Isaiah wrote [Isaiah 26:3.] This battle is ongoing, no matter what our age or experience.   

One of my favorite examples about wrong thinking is Jacob.   

Beginning with Genesis 37, we see God working in the lives of Jacob and his family to preserve them in the famine which (God knew, but they did not) was soon coming.  God used Joseph and his unwise decision to share his vision with his jealous brothers to cause them to get rid of him. 

They sold Joseph into slavery and took his coat, soiled by the blood of a goat, back to Jacob, who believed their lie. When Jacob saw the coat, he said, “Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces” and “I will go down into my grave unto my son mourning.” (verses 30 & 35) 

Was this true and was that how Jacob ended his life?  No. Genesis 48:11And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and lo, God hath shewed me thy seed.

Most of us believe that “God is first” in our lives, but too often He is not. We think we are “all right” because we “do all the right things,” but when trouble comes, we realize our dependence on God is lacking because we have enthroned someone or something other than Him.

Here’s a checklist–it will not explore all the possibilities, but will help us consider.

Are you at the center of all your thoughts?  Do you try to control everything and everyone around you?  When you cannot control people, do you compensate by controlling your surroundings?  In 1 Chronicles 13, David was doing “a good thing” by bringing the ark back to Jerusalem, but he was not following God’s directions about how to transport it and Uzza followed David’s example in “helping God out” when he reached out to steady the ark when it almost fell. (verse 10).  Are you trying to control things only God can control?

Is someone else at the center of all your thoughts?  Does this person occupy all your thoughts because you love him /her so much?  Because you are angry at him/her? 

Abraham put Sarah at the center of his thoughts and Ishmael was born. Genesis 16

Saul put David at the center of his thoughts and lost his own life as well as that of his sons and his soldiers.  I Samuel 31

Solomon put his wives at the center of his thoughts and lost his kingdom. I Kings 11

Is service at the center of your thoughts? 

Elijah performed magnificently in I Kings 17, trusting his physical needs would be met at the brook Cherith. Then in I Kings 18, he faces down the prophets of Baal and calls fire down from Heaven. But in I Kings 19, he is running for his life from Jezebel and sitting first under the juniper tree, and then hiding in a cave, telling God he was “jealous” for the Lord of Hosts.

Was this really the case? Or was he grieving (understandably) that his service had not been better rewarded than having to be on the run from a wicked woman?  Elijah presents a classic example of burnout and depression and the fact that “doing” is not the cure for everything.  


Consider this quote from Oswald Chambers:

We have shown our ignorance of Him in the very way we are determined to serve Him.  Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way?  If I feel I have done my duty and yet have hurt Him in doing it, I may be sure it was not my duty, because it has not fostered the meek and quiet spirit, but the spirit of self-satisfaction.

Win the battle for your mind. Labor always to keep God at the center of your thoughts.

3 Comments

  1. LaRue Arnold

    I must confess I struggle with “is what I am doing, pleasing God”. I want to please God and do what He wants me to do. This is a hard task.

    LaRue

    Reply
    • Frances Adams

      Sounds like you are on the right track Larue. All through the scriptures we are instructed to remember this or that. Remember, don’t forget. In I Cor. 11:27-29 we are told not to eat or drink unworthily but to examine ourself. So keep remembering and checking on yourself and I will too. It’s the thing to do.

      Reply
  2. Holly Bebernitz

    I agree. That’s why it pays to consider why we are doing what we are doing and think correctly. 🙂

    Reply

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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.