“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Do you remember the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby? There are several lines that go like this: “Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear. No one comes near. Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there. What does he care?”
Roy quoted Job 3:25 in his sermon: “ What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. One of my worst fears would be to prepare to share God’s word and nobody was there to hear it. I would be preaching to myself. That’s what consciousness is in a nut shell. We are speaking to or preaching to ourselves.”
The problem is that if we preached like we talk to ourselves, we would not probably not have too many listeners anyway. Because here is where our discontent with the three previous cards comes in. Our mind is prone to self-justifying errors. I’m “no good, unlovable, unattractive, he will never marry me, I will never get married, I don’t have the skills to get that job, if only I was a better public speaker” and so on. Adding to the problem is we tend to believe our thoughts, impressions or paradigms more than what our family and friends may be telling us.
Let’s try something a little different. Let’s say that you wrote the 23rd Psalm based on the first four cards you were dealt:
The 23rd Consciousness
1. My psyche is my shepherd, I have some issues. 2. I am unappreciated at work, my relationships are weak, 3. The family refreshes my credit cards. I go through self-help programs for my confidence’s sake. 4. Even though I walk with the darkest mother-in-law, I have to worry, for my past is with me; and the present does not, comfort me. 5. You prepare tax codes before me, in the presence of the IRS. You anoint my head with dandruff; my waistline overflows. 6. Surely my inabilities will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of bad circumstances, forever.
OK, that is little over the top. I get that. Here is what I want you to know. Feelings are not facts. If you feel unlovable, that doesn’t mean you are unlovable. If your mindset is that you will never get married, it does not mean you will never get married. We can change our consciousness if we remember that God’s plan for our lives trumps all our insecurities.
In order to live right, we must first think right and to do that we need the mind of Christ. Christ is in the business of “renewing the mind” (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). In the New Testament Paul tells us to put on the mind of Christ. We should ask God to give us the mind and heart of His each and every day. In essence, what we think is what we are, so we need to regularity ask ourselves “What am I thinking? Does my consciousness glorify God?”
1. Are we open to our family and friend’s advice, suggestions or even critiques? How often do your thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies?
2. What does the mind of Christ mean to you?
3. In his book “Thinking. Loving. Doing.”, John Piper challenges us to be thinkers, engaged and serious about knowing God. How can changing our thinking change our relationship with God?
4. What can I do to stay focused on the person and character of Jesus in my daily walk?
5. Pray and ask God to grant you understanding in all the cards we are dealt.