‘Get a Grip Man’… on your thought-life! 

This is an excellent read by Max Lucado on getting our thoughts under control.  I don’t know about you, but some days my mind and my thoughts are so ‘off the wall’ and unproductive, if I could just unplug my mind/brain, I’d be good… of course, that might cause some other life-significant issues, but hey, it’s was worth a shot.  So, since ‘pulling the plug’ on my brain really isn’t an option at this point, there has to be some good tools that I can use to get my thoughts under control?   The good news is that there is.  Max Lucado has done a great job at laying out some very simple, yet powerful ways that will help get a handle on what he describes as the ‘doorway into the heart’ – our minds. Enjoy!

“. . . Your heart is a fertile greenhouse ready to produce good fruit. Your mind is the doorway to your heart – the strategic place where you determine which seeds (thoughts) are sown and which seeds are discarded. The Holy Spirit is ready to help you manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter. He can help you guard you heart. He stands with you on the threshold. A thought approaches, a questionable thought. Do you throw open the door and let it enter? Of course not. You ‘fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ’ (2 Cor. 10:5, Phillips). You don’t leave the door unguarded. You stand equipped with handcuffs and leg irons, ready to capture any thought not fit to enter. For the sake of discussion, let’s say a thought regarding your personal value approaches. With all the cockiness of a neighborhood bully, the thought swaggers up to the door and says, ‘You’re a loser. All your life you’ve been a loser. You’ve blown relationships and jobs and ambitions. You might as well write the word bum on your resume, for that is what you are.’

“The ordinary person would throw open the door and let the thought in. Like a seed from a weed, it would find fertile soil and take root and bear thorns of inferiority. The average person would say, ‘You’re right, I’m a bum. Come on in.’ But as a Christian, you aren’t your average person. You are led by the Spirit. So rather than let the thought in, you take it captive. You handcuff it and march it down the street to the courthouse where you present the thought before the judgment seat of Christ.

“’Jesus, this thought says I’m a bum and a loser and that I’ll never amount to anything. What do you think?’ See what you are doing? You are submitting the thought to the authority of Jesus. If Jesus agrees with the thought, then let it in. If not, kick it out. In this case Jesus disagrees.

“How do you know if Jesus agrees or disagrees? You open your Bible. What does God think about you? Eph. 2:10 is a good place to check: ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (NIV). Or how about Romans 8:1: ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (NIV)? Obviously any thought that says you are inferior or insignificant does not pass the test – and does not gain entrance. You have the right to give the bully a firm kick in the pants and watch him run.

“Let’s take another example. The first thought was a bully; this next thought is a groupie. She comes not to tell you how bad you are but how good you are. She rushes to the doorway and gushes, ‘You are so good. You are so wonderful. The world is so lucky to have you,’ and on and on the groupie grovels.

“Typically this is the type of thought you’d welcome. But you don’t do things the typical way. You guard your heart (Prov. 4:23). You walk in the Spirit. And you take every thought captive. So once again you go to Jesus. You submit this thought to the authority of Christ. As you unsheathe the sword of the Spirit, his Word, you learn that pride doesn’t please God. ‘Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance’ (Rom. 12:3, Phillips). ‘The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging’ (Gal. 6:14). As much as you’d like to welcome this thought of conceit into the greenhouse, you can’t. You only allow what Christ allows.

“One more example. This time the thought is not one of criticism or flattery but one of temptation. If you’re a man, the thought is dressed in flashy red. If you’re a female, the thought is the hunk you’ve always wanted. There is the brush of the hand, the fragrance in the air, and invitation. ‘Come on, it’s all right. We’re consenting adults.’

“What do you do? Well, if you aren’t under the authority of Christ, you throw open the door. But if you have the mind of Christ, you step back and say, ‘Not so fast. You’ll have to get permission from big brother.’ So you take this steamy act before Jesus and ask, ‘Yes or no?’ Nowhere does he answer more clearly than in I Corinthians 6 and 7: ‘we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever. . . .Is it a good thing to have sexual relations? Certainly–but only with a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them’ (6:18; 7:1-2, MSG). Now armed with the opinion of Christ and the sword of the Spirit, what do you do? Well, if the tempter is not your spouse, close the door. If the invitation is from your spouse, then HUBBA HUBBA HUBBA.

“The point is this. Guard the doorway of your heart. Submit your thoughts to the authority of Christ. The more selective you are about ‘seeds’, the more delighted you will be with the crop.”

_____________________________________

Just Like Jesus 
Max Lucado
 Word Publishing 
Nashville, TN.
Copyright 1998 by Max Lucado
 Chapter Nine, “The Greenhouse of the Mind” (A Pure Heart) pages 177 – 182

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8

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