Monday Morning Devotion-November 15, 2021
Thoughts become Things
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things. Philippians 4:8
*reprint from August 20, 2018
Your thoughts become things. Have you heard that before? Sure, you have! But, do you believe it? Let's look into the rationale behind that statement.
I was reading a baseball book°now don't tune me out even if you hate the diamond game. I came across this point that was well made and can apply to all of us. The book was called: "Ninety Percent Mental" by Bob Tewksbury, who pitched in the Major Leagues for 13 years. He is now a Mental Skills Coach.
Tewks (as his teammates called him) points out to players, especially pitchers, how their thoughts become things. He tells them to just think about the pitch they are making. Will it be a fastball, curve or what? And where (location) will it be thrown. And why is that the choice.
If the pitcher thinks about how he really can't afford to make a mistake here. How important it is to get this batter out because of who bats next, or how many men are on base or why they need to win the game, instead of how to make that pitch, he probably will make a mistake and the batter will connect.
In that case the thought became an action when the ball was thrown. But, the action had a negative outcome because the thought process was not solid.
How many times has that happened in your life. If you are like me---a bunch of times.
We worry so much about the outcome, i.e. what is going to happen, that we don't focus on the right action to take. So instead of preventing the wrong outcome by not thinking it through our thoughts bring about the wrong thing. What we don't want to happen does happen.
I read this on-line: (metaphysics for life.com). "How Thoughts Become Things?'
"Thoughts are the DNA of the Universe. They contain the information that gives form to our physical life experience. Without feeling or substance, we would not be able to perceive the thought-forms in our mind. The feelings we use to give substance to the thoughts in our mind come from one of two sources: fear or love.
Thoughts that are given substance with fear-based feelings such as anger, frustration or anxiety will become things (physical life experiences) that we experience as 'negative' or 'bad'.
Thoughts given substance with love-based feelings such as gratitude, peace, happiness and well-being, will become things we experience as 'positive' and 'good'"
Isn't that what the Apostle Paul was talking about in our scripture today? Look at these things that he advises us to think about---things that are pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. I'd say those come from the "love" side. It would be hard to turn our thoughts into something ugly or mean-spirited if we were thinking about things that encompassed any thoughts directed by those positive feelings.
If you think you are a failure you will fail. Your actions will just naturally head in a direction that will not win for you. The way you think turns into reality and---bingo! You fail
at the very thing you feared and were thinking about negatively. Your negative thinking reinforced your weak or negative actions.
"In that situation consider that it might not be your lack of talent or skills that is holding you back. It might be your beliefs that keep you from performing at your peak. ("How Your Thoughts Become Your Reality" (www.forbes.com).
As Tewsks said: "You need to give yourself permission to be a success."
Once you draw a conclusion about yourself, you're likely to do two things; look for evidence that reinforces your belief and discount anything that runs contrary to your belief."
To counteract this: "Look for evidence to the contrary by taking note of any times when your beliefs weren't reinforced. Challenge your beliefs. With practice you can train your brain to think differently."
Of course, sometimes a pitcher will go through the positive thought process based on his research on a hitter and determine that the batter is susceptible to a low, inside fastball. Yet, the pitch doesn't end up going where he intended it to. Maybe it stays low in the strike zone but instead of going inside it stays out over the plate and gets clobbered. That can happen. Nobody is perfect, especially when you are throwing 100 or more pitches in a game.
Same with us. We are making literally hundreds of decisions in a day. Not all are of earth-shaking importance. But, if each decision is approached with a positive mind-set then no matter if it's a big or small decision that needs to be made we will have given it our best effort.
Prayer is a powerful influence in our decision-making. Sarah Young says: "Never underestimate the power of prayer! God created mankind with the ability to communicate with Him. He is the eternal, immortal, and invisible King of the Universe. Persistent, heartfelt prayer will bless not only you, but your family, friends, church and country.
Our thoughts become feelings, then emotions, actions and results (things). These all come out better under the direction of the Heavenly Father.
Think about this each day, then let Him shape your thoughts into positive things.
Prayer: Lord help us to turn our thoughts into positive outcomes by seeking your guidance. Amen.