Unsinkable Faith

Day 3 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Thought Patterns

The average person has 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day, which equates to 35 to 48 thoughts per minute. Approximately 95 percent of our thoughts today are the same thoughts we thought yesterday. To make matters worse, about 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative ones. Tens of thousands of negative thoughts cycle through our minds day after day after day, poisoning our attitudes and our outlooks, one by one.

Eighty percent of tens of thousands of little thoughts add up to a lot of negative thinking and self-talk. If the majority of our thoughts are positive, then we’ll feel and be more positive, but if the majority of our self-talk is negative? Well, let’s just say the outcome will not be pretty. You see, it is our thoughts that drive our feelings and our happiness, not our circumstances. If our thoughts are negative, our feelings and actions will be negative as well, and altogether those things can lead to a negative life, lacking peace and joy.

For example, if we spend an entire day fuming over our spouse’s flaws and thinking about how he doesn’t meet our needs, we will feel animosity toward him or, at minimum, a lack of love, which leads to outward negative behaviors that might damage the relationship.

If we spend time thinking about how our boss doesn’t appreciate us and constantly telling ourselves how underpaid we are, we will feel discontent at our job, which can lead to a bad attitude, poor performance, or maybe the unemployment line.

If we spend time thinking about what other people think about us, we will feel like we don’t measure up and live with a lack of confidence in who we are, and Whose we are.

If we constantly think about our past mistakes rather than accept God’s forgiveness and mercy, we will feel unforgivable and unlovable and live a life disconnected from the love and acceptance He wants us to embrace.

If we let the critical words a parent said to us when we were children, the rejection or hurtful actions of a spouse, or the judgment of a friend or loved one dwell in our thoughts and define how we think about ourselves, we will feel like worthless individuals incapable of living life with purpose.

If we listen to all this negative self-talk, which is not from God, we might end up sinking in an ocean of discouragement and hopelessness and feeling that we can never swim our way out to peaceful waters.

You see, our thoughts turn into feelings that can easily take control of our lives and steer us in a direction we do not want to go in. Our feelings are persistent and unrelenting constantly whispering to gain dominion over our actions. They can create our destiny, either good or bad, because whatever we are dwelling on in our minds is what will play out in our lives. It is usually our thoughts, not our circumstances, that cause us to sink. This is such an important truth to tuck into our minds. Mark it down: What we think becomes who we are.