The character trait that I am focusing on this week is “Honoring Others, and Being Free of a Critical Spirit”. I added that second part 6 months ago when this was the character trait I was focused on because I found I could exercise the self-control needed to talk nice and all the while being very judgmental and critical in my thinking. As we pursue maturity one of the upper level skills and disciplines is controlling our thoughts. Most never get there in their growth because there is no accountability, that is nobody knows what we are thinking, and so we relax and let our thoughts go wherever they want. There are at least 4 major problems with relaxed, uncontrolled thinking.
1. Our mind seems to have a mind of its own as we are thinking thoughts all day long at a very rapid speed. Left to it’s own our mind will naturally move in a negative direction and will have increasingly more immoral thoughts, critical thoughts, prideful thoughts, bitter thoughts, covetous thoughts, selfish thoughts, and angry thoughts
2. The devil’s primary way of controlling us is through our thoughts. He and a bunch of demons talk to us constantly and we hear them in our thoughts. If we don’t take control over our thoughts he will have a growing control over our life as he captures our mind.
3. If we think certain kinds thoughts repeatedly we will act that way, “as a man thinks so he is”.
4. God knows what we are thinking, and He is the one who blesses me on the basis of my behavior, including my thoughts. He is the one who gives opportunities to do something significant with our lives.
5. Our emotions of joy and sadness are very much influenced by our thinking habits.