Weekly Thought – April 20, 2021
Fred referred to an intellectual friend as “a man with a superior mental organ.” That was certainly descriptive of him. He grew up in the mill district of Nashville, was disabled at age five, was unable to attend college because of financial limitations, and enjoyed few or none social networks. But God gifted him to think – and he used that gift unceasingly.
Think and Do
“I just can’t believe that I did that; What in the world was I thinking; It just came over me.” How many times do you hear these excuses for inappropriate actions? I am convinced action is the last step, not the first. Here is the formula I worked out for myself: first, the thought, then the mood, then the rationalized action.
First the thought comes in our mind and if we keep it long enough and know it with validity, it creates a mood. The mood then rationalizes the action. Scripture talks of this when James talks of the progress from temptation to enticement to sin and death. Death was not the goal at the outset, but it was the logical end.
How do we control this formula? We start by keeping the wrong thoughts out of the heart. Remember the old adage: “You can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” Therefore, our first responsibility is to dislodge the thought before it creates a mood and ultimately births an action. I am not suggesting a mind free from thoughts – far from it. We reprogram our mind by replacing the worthless with worthy. The Apostle Paul spoke often about his system of thought control which resulted in appropriate behavior.
It is my firm belief you can trace back an action that surprised you to the mood in which it was taken. Mood is a mindset we create to facilitate the action. The thought is buried into the soil but doesn’t grow until the root is fully formed. Have you ever lashed out at somebody and wondered what got into you? Think of the emotional mood and mental mindset – the action becomes logical. Have you made a decision that was atypical of your thought pattern? Recreate the mood environment before the decision you will understand what came together to cause that decision. Every action is wrapped in a mood.
The rationalization of action is almost an unspoken process. The thought has come to life. The path to action is in the mind. Once the act is performed we can express shock, but we must take responsibility for we were the one who initiated the process.
Psychologists tell us that to create a new habit or break an old habit takes 21-30 days of consecutive positive activity. The key is consecutive. Undoing the “stinkin’ thinkin’” my good friend Zig Ziglar talks about is the implantation of concentrated, consistent, consecutive discipline.
This week think about: 1) Have I ever said “that just wasn’t me” as a rationale for a bad action? 2) How can Fred’s thinking help me this week? 3) What habit am I working to make or break?
Words of Wisdom: “It is my firm belief you can trace back an action that surprised you to the mood in which it was taken.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip.” (Psalm 37:31 NET Bible)