Thought Life / Stop Hamster Wheeling

Did you read the bit about emotions? Yes? Great. Now it’s time to get control of thoughts. Emotions, feelings, those are the roller coasters but when it comes to thoughts — we’re in total control. Reasonable, intelligent, calculated, cool, right? I see you shaking your head, no. You’re right.

Here is the truth about our brains. They’re not as logical as we portray them to be. They’re messy little liars who are constantly trying to tell us no matter what the situation, God isn’t good enough –- and that’s just not true. Look at the Israelites. No matter how many times God showed His power and glory in big, real, supernatural ways they still tried to be satisfy themselves outside of His provisions.

“The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.”

Augustine of Hippo

My flatmate has done great teaching about how we were only ever supposed to experience worry once. It’s so true! Instead of giving our burdens to God, we obsess over them, hamster wheeling. Turning those thoughts over and over and over and over as if we’re going to think ourselves somewhere. There are times when processing helps, verbalizing to others can be useful but there comes a time when there’s just nothing more we can possibly do and I, for one, need to get off the wheel because not only are there things I cannot solve — it can become a sin to try.

The desire to know beyond our human capabilities is our original sin. It wasn’t just the blatant disobedience but the subtle acceptance of a lie — that God’s knowledge was worth more than the presence of God himself. The tree we weren’t supposed to eat from, or even touch, contained so much knowledge that for us, it was tantamount to death. God knew how much brokenness we were capable of and tried to protect us from it.

When it comes to conquering the thought life the daily exercise is to speak the truth about God. Our feelings change, people, things, circumstances, sometimes life is just change after change after change but God is constant and He keeps nothing we need from us.

So, in Christ’s name, we take authority of our minds. We pray our minds will not wander out of His presence, that we will be ready to believe the best in others, that anything set up against the true knowledge of God would be destroyed.

Got that down? Good. Now whatever you’re obsessing about – stop. Stop thinking about it. Go work out. Go get some groceries, see a movie, take a walk, volunteer, call someone and cheer them up, get an oil change. Go. Do.

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