Retraining The Brain
Good morning. It is Tuesday, March 29, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
When you meet someone for the first time, or on a regular, what is the first thing you notice? For me it’s a close call between the eyes and the smile, but if I had to choose one, I would say their smile, or lack thereof.
Some people might notice the hair style. Others will look you up and down giving their approval or disapproval regarding what you are wearing. From a smile to a handshake, to mannerisms, to humility, we are constantly sizing other people up. In a word, we are “judging”.
But why? Why do we judge others?
I will share something with you I learned about myself many years ago. The things we are most critical about in other people, are things we are often guilty of ourselves. It’s true! Or it is something we can become guilty of in the future. We can learn much from this. But back to our thoughts.
According to research conducted by the National Science Foundation, around 80% of our thoughts are negative. And we have around 12,000 – 50,000 thoughts daily.
Think about that for a moment. If you have just 12,000 thoughts a day and 80% of them are negative, that is 9,600 negative thoughts. By the way, those negative thoughts are not just about others, we can be our own worst critic. We can beat ourselves up daily, hourly, minute by minute!. So, what can we do about it?
The best medicine for me has been to choose gratitude. I begin each morning telling God how grateful I am for what He has done in my life. I thank Him for the simple things like the tall pine trees outside my window. I thank Him for my animals and the safety He provided to me over night as I slept. I choose gratitude. It is a choice. If I feel negative or sad thoughts trying to enter my mind, I focus on what is good. My friends and family that do care for me; people in my life that would drop everything to come to my aid. The new flowers that are emerging from the soil. The sun and wind and clouds. My health and the health of my family. I look at nature. I breathe deep and I thank God.
It takes time and it takes deliberate action, but you can change the way you think. Put little post-it notes on your bathroom mirror or in your car. These are called affirmations. And because our brain is so powerful, it will work. For instance, you might write, “I am a child of God, and I am deeply loved by Him” Read it, speak it out loud. “Today is a new day and His mercies to me are new every morning.” “I will sing His praises and allow joy to overflow in my life” “I forgive those who have hurt me.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
When we allow positive thoughts to filter our minds, we will slowly become changed. It may not be easy at first but make it a daily routine and soon it will become a habit.
Isaiah 26:3 tell us “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” NKJV
We cannot change the way other people think about us, but we can change the way we think about other people. Ask God to help you in this area. Ask Him for the wisdom needed to change your thinking.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” That is a promise friend.
If other people think badly about you. If others judge your motives, or are jealous of you, you cannot change that. But praise the Lord, He knows the truth about us. He looks at the heart.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV
In the same way, we are not to judge others. Train your thoughts to think of good things; positive things; heavenly things.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels (or motives) of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 NKJV
We all need to work on this area, but with God all things are possible! If He can give sight to the blind, cause the lame to walk and raise the dead, He certainly can help you have more loving and generous thoughts. Just ask Him.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24 NKJV