Now more than ever it is important to keep ourselves encouraged. There is so much fear, anxiety, bad news and negativity out there and it is so easy to get sucked into all of that. I’ve heard it said that as believers we are to be thermostats and not thermometers. We should set the tone (or temperature) for ourselves and those around us, and not the other way around. This takes some effort in taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. We need to take captive those thoughts that are contrary to what we know about God’s character. I’ve written about this subject many times before, but I believe in this season it is vitally important and worthy of a reminder. We do need to be aware and wise, but we also need to make a choice to trust God and not get sucked into the cycle of negativity. How we specifically do that is an individual thing, but make sure you are on your toes spiritually in this season.
There is a saying that what you focus on expands. Dr. Caroline Leaf is a Christian neuroscientist who has studied this subject extensively. She says in her book Switch on Your Brain that “Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking.” When we focus our thoughts on negative things, worry, fear, etc, those things expand and become bigger in our minds. That’s not to say we stick our heads in the sand and ignore problems, but we take those negative thoughts captive and don’t allow them to become our focus because they are never bigger than our God unless we allow them to be. Our thoughts are so powerful and we have an incredible capacity to change our experience through changing our thoughts. What are you focusing your thoughts on? Do you need a different thought?