Carefully read and re-read the below scripture from James 1. Note the instruction it gives us to living life in a relationship with God. What does it look like? What type of behaviors/habits should we have to live a healthy, purposeful, and productive life in Christ?
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Doers—Not Hearers Only
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Hope comes from having a purpose.
As Christians we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. We should be living our life with an overcoming attitude and an attitude of acceptance.
Faith comes from hearing the message- the message comes from the Word of Christ.
The Word of God is the “seed”- our hearts are the soil. Soil has to be prepared before a seed can be planted and thrive- just as our hearts need to be prepared to be receptive to hear God’s voice.
4 Attitudes for good reception to God’s Word
Clean (take out the garbage-remove all sin and evil through confession)
An attitude of acceptance- welcomes the Word of God.
You cannot just listen to the Word of God- You must DO WHAT YOU READ.
We need to evaluate our spiritual walk- are we hearers or doers of God’s Word?
Knowing something is NOT what makes it fruitful in your life. It is the application of what you know that determines the effect it has in and on your life. You can hear the Word of God and know the truth, but if you do not apply it to your life the knowledge is fruitless.
God calls us to be doers of His Word- not hearers.
It is through the hearing and doing of the Word of God that shapes us for the purpose He gives us in life.
I ask you today to look into the mirror- truly gaze at yourself and be honest- are you being a hearer or doer of Gods Word? Do you know what your purpose is in this life? Are you actively stepping in faith towards God’s ultimate plan for your life?
Thank you Lord for giving us Your Word, for guiding us and directing our paths. I am so thankful that you are a patient and forgiving God. Lord forgive me for the times I am acting as a hearer to Your Word instead of being a doer. Lord help each of us to truly look within ourselves and have discernment with what You are reveling to us. Show us how to actively listen and do what You are speaking to us. Give us the courage and strength to be bold in You- seeking first Your kingdom and purpose for our life. It is in Jesus might name I pray.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
How you feel and how you handle those feelings are two very different things. The world we live in is very emotionally driven. As Christians we should be aware and on guard with what we are allowing to drive our decisions and actions.
To develop an overcoming attitude we have to first get rid of the stinking thinkin. You know what I am talking about– the I stink, you stink, life stinks– attitude. Negative thinking is toxic and our emotions can cause us to make decisions we normally would not make. Heightened emotions and negative thinking can get the best of us and leave us in a vulnerable state.
One of the most important things you need to remember when life knocks you down is that there is no rut to big or to deep for God to pull you out of. When the pressure is on and we feel like we are sinking– we need hope.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
Never doubt in the dark times what you know God has promised in the light!
Sometimes in life we have to argue with ourselves about what the truth is and what the emotionally driven reaction is. Stories and life events become inflamed when we are pondering on them with the wrong attitude. They can overtake us and shift the focus from the truth to emotionally driven reactions.
An overcoming attitude comes with knowing how to handle criticism. If it is untrue– ignore it– if it is unfair– do not let it bother you– if it is ignorant– smile through it– and if it is true-learn from it.
It is important that we listen to those who know us, love us, and rejoice with us. Remember not everyone is truly your friend– some are rooting for you to fail behind your back– ignore them and follow what you know to be truth according to God’s word.
Keeping our attitudes in check can be difficult, especially if we have deep roots in negativity and are notorious stinkin thinkers. God promises to renew our minds in Him. There is no failure or sin too bad for Christ to restore us.
Our futures are not based on our past. We are new beings in Christ and He never consults our past to determine our future. The process to developing an overcoming attitude does not happen over night– it takes time. We need to remain patient and ready to listen.
God does not fail– Do not give up– you are an overcomer.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
Thank you Jesus for Your truth and power. Thank you for renewing our minds through Your word and being our hope during the storms of life. Forgive me Lord for having stinkin thinking when I should be relying on You. I pray that You help me to develop an overcoming attitude and expose any toxic thinking I may have to myself. I pray that you will expose Your truth to each person who reads this post. Lord guide us all in every step we take. I claim in the name of Jesus we are all overcomers and Your Holy Spirit will remind us of His promises in times of struggle. In Jesus name I pray
This subject always makes me think of the story of Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. If you have read this book you know that it is all about how everything went wrong that day for Alexander. He couldn’t seem to catch a break, no matter where he went or what he did things (out of his control) kept happening to him. Life can often feel this way in our day to day lives. It can feel extremely overwhelming and begin causing the onsets of “Stinkin Thinkin” it creeps in at first maybe only affecting us on a bad day then before we know it, we have completely been sucked in to its’ whole concept of “I stink, you stink, and life stinks”. I warn you this can become very dangerous and unhealthy for us to believe and give truth to in our lives.
When we start feeding the “Stinkin Thinkin” attitude we lose all interest in life and only see the negative side of each situation regardless if its beyond our control or not. In turn causing us to have a hard time seeing any positive or good in the life and the world around us. “Stinkin Thinkin” is highly contagious and can easily overtake our minds by continually being engaged in conversations with those who are what I like to call full time “stinkin thinkiners” (yes I just made that word up) it starts to seep into our thinking process and begin its destruction in our lives.
This is why today is the day you have to CHOSE to change. Change your thinking process and what you focus on in each situation. Apply truths from Gods word to each thought that tries to plant roots in your mind. Changing your thought process is possible. it does not happen overnight just as it did not happen overnight when your thoughts became all toxic. It’s a process that can be completed, ask God to help you through the journey and you will learn to live a life of truth and freedom, not of lies and bondage.
We should not be focusing on the past or dwelling on what could have been, asking ourselves What if.. questions. We are suppose to let go of the past and focus on our present and future remembering God’s plans are always good and praise him through the storm.
The bible says in Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
How are we going to see all the progress and positive changes going on in our lives by God if we are too busy gripping about the negatives and dwelling on the past hurt and pain. You may be thinking well that sounds easy for you to say.. well it is easy to say. However we all struggle in this area and it’s a process that never stops. It’s a constant struggle in my life currently and many of those I know. The world has become infected by “stinkin thinkin” and we have to fight to keep ourselves focused on the truth in God’s word.
Use scripture as if it were medicine or vitamins for your heart and soul, apply it to your life daily in order to help maintain a positive, free, and healthy balance in life. John 15:5 says “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. The bible tells us that if we follow the wordly ways and not trust and abide in God’s word we will not produce the fruit in which he has designed us to produce. Toxic thoughts and behavior will cause us to produce “bad” fruit which become the vines and branches in our mind instead of God’s word , bad fruit poisons our perspective of life.
I encourage everyone to wake up each day and focus on God’s promises in His Word. Instead of waking up thinking I have to much to do, Its going to be a long rough day, I will never get everything done, how will I feed my family today, this stinks, life stinks all I do is work. Start your day off with biblical truths, speak life over your life, change your thought process and kick out the “stinkin thinkin”.
Here are a few bible references I like to use to speak life over my life.
Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
– you probably do have a lot to accomplish in one day but God didn’t promise a work free life exempt from troubles but he promised strength to get through it.
Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. ”
– your plate is probably overflowing and there are probably situations you wish you didn’t have to deal with, maybe even situations that you feel are unable to be overcome. Those statements are stinking thinkin at its finest. God does NOT want you to worry he tells us we are MORE than conquerors through Him.
Matthew 6:25-27– Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; not about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
– bills are piling up, work is slow and you have no idea how you are going to make ends meet. Full force worry and in creeps, you guessed it..the “stinkin thinkin”. I urge you to stop the thought as soon as it starts and remember the Lord does not want us to worry of these things but to trust in Him to provide.
Nehemiah 8:10– Then he said to them ” Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
– we often forget to be thankful for what we do have. The Lord does not want the day filled with sorrow and worry but with joy of knowing his promises to provide if we trust in Him. Our strength comes from knowing He is our provider and His promises are what drive us to keep focused.
Isaiah 61:7-8 “Instead of your shame you shall have double, honor, And Instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”
– Satan wants to remind us of our past. He wants us to feel like we are not good enough and to feel shameful in the presence of God and people but that is NOT what Gods word says. That is a direct lie from Satan that he wants to plant roots in our minds and infect our life with “stinkin thinkin”. Gods word says we will not be shamed but have double honor if we believe and trust in Him and that we will have everlasting joy.
We all need to stick together and stick to Gods Word to stop the roaring epidemic in the world today of “Stinkin Thinkin”. If we train our thoughts to focus on God’s truth and seek his guidance we can stop Satan from destroying our thought process with Stinking Thinkin and begin to live life freely and joyfully. John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Stop believing the lies of Satan and focus on the truth in Gods word so that you may live life abundantly. John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Is God telling you it is time for change? Is time for the stinkin thinkin blinders to come off and time to start living life with happiness and purpose? This is a change only we can choose to make for ourselves. This process doesn’t happen over night and it can be very difficult but if we ask God for His help he will guide us and change us as we seek Him. Don’t be discouraged along the way for we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.