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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Thinking About Your Thinking

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Author Biography

    Robyn's been CBN Southern Africa’s Communications Manager for 3 years and loves watching how God works through storytelling and speaking the truth. Basking in the beauty of Cape Town, she loves walks on the mountains and beaches with her husband and dog.

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Robyn Hattingh - Communications Manager - CBN South Africa

What we think about has a powerful influence on our attitudes and worldviews. We hear about this a lot in motivational talks and sermons. If you constantly tell yourself that you're bad at something, chances are you’ll never become good at it. If you tell yourself that you have the ability to get better at it, you’ll develop a positive outlook and attitude, and most likely improve.

I’ve had the opportunity to learn about how our perceptions of individuals and labels influence how we view ourselves. Even more powerful, though, is what we think others are thinking about us.

My husband works in a very corporate finance environment. He has bi-annual performance reviews, but other than that, he never really gets feedback. I, on the other hand, work in a very affirming culture. You never need to guess what others think about you or your work, they affirm good work regularly and lovingly provide criticism when necessary.

As a result, I feel comfortable in my role and work. My husband is always questioning himself and second guessing the quality of his work. Even though he gets good performance reviews, in between he only has vague comments from his managers, comments that are often influenced by stress and being overworked. Which means they aren’t great comments. These comments have deeply influenced the way he views himself and his work. They have never said he is bad or his work lacks quality, but he has assumed it.

He often comes home from work feeling anxious. Thankfully, I can remind Him of biblical truths and we’re surrounded by a community who positively feeds into his life. If it weren’t for that, he could easily be overcome with anxiety. And at times, he needs to do the same for me—to help me recenter my scattered senses on the goodness and truth of God’s truth for me.

Philippians 4:8 says:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)

God doesn’t tell us to do this because it sounds like a nice idea. He says it because He knows how powerfully our thoughts can influence us. He knows how powerfully the world and others in the world and our environment influence us. And because He wants the best for us, He advises us to wisely think about things that uplift, affirm, and instill peace in our minds—something we all need in a world where anxiety is rife.

If you are struggling with thinking patterns or anxiety, I’d like to encourage you to seek out God’s truths. Remind yourself of them daily, spend time in His Word so that they become your anchor in a chaotic world, and surrender your thoughts to Him. And find people you can trust who can help you recenter your thoughts when you feel scattered and anxious.

~

Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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