Holiday Devotional - December 2, 2016

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Did I REALLY Just Think That?

Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

I have been thinking a lot lately about just that, my thought life. What it consists of and what it doesn't and what it should. Sometimes it's very hard to reign in your thoughts and the harder I try the more I seem to fail. Let's be honest. When you tried to pray last did you have a hard time staying on track because of distracting thoughts that kept popping up? What about during worship? That to do list for later or that conversation you had last week with a co-worker that could have gone better… these all seem to invade our minds as we listen to the sermon. If you do a Google search, so called experts will tell you that person has between 15,000-70,000 thoughts per day. Even on the low range that's a whole lot of activity going on in our minds. Some thoughts just flit through while others linger. And we allow them to take a deeper hold. I once read a quote that said, "out of thoughts come our words; out of words our actions; out of actions our character."

So how can we "bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5)? We have to challenge and test our thoughts. I have found Philippians 4:8 to be very helpful in doing this, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." That's hard to absorb all at once. I find it easier to unpack it and use one challenge per day.

Write the word somewhere that you will see it - on your bathroom mirror, a notecard, or the back of your hand. Today the test will be is it true, and tomorrow is it honorable, etc. Until you have completed all eight things and then repeat. It's said that it takes 21 days to establish a habit, so perhaps in time our thoughts will begin to be more in line with what Christ wants them to be.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Esther Cahal Walker