I delivered a sermon series a few years ago entitled "Heartbeats.” The concept was simple. I wanted to speak from my heart to yours, sharing the wisdom of my years as a Pastor, father, grandfather, and counselor on some of the "tough stuff" topics like addiction, loneliness, sex, and feelings of worthlessness and shame.
These are all matters that people have asked me to help counsel them on through the years. There is an important commonality inherent in a lot of these subjects. People want to know how to change. Most people think that in order to change (or even get started with something) they must focus on getting past emotional hang-ups.
Do you want to change your life? Most all of us have areas in our lives that we know need to be changed. They have held us in bondage for too long.
If you want to change your life, it will demand a new way of thinking. If you want to change, you must start making wise choices. And to make wise choices, you must change the way you think.
People often focus on trying to change their feelings. That is fruitless. You can’t change the way you feel until you change the way you think. Feelings are responders to our thought life. Therefore, if you want to change how you feel, you must change the way you think. You must stop, as one person called it, your “stinking thinking.”
In his letter to the Romans Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do 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.”
You change your thinking with a concerted effort. Each morning, you fill your mind with thoughts of hope. That can come from quotations from wise people, but better still, it should come as you read your Bible.
Then you commit throughout your day to think only God’s good thoughts. You train your brain. You discipline your mind. Then feelings fall in line. And your heart is filled with hope.
Try it and see if it doesn’t work!