It is an interesting thought to think about what we think about. At first, it seems an unnecessary endeavor. Immediately, we might look to the question and respond, “who has time?”. In reality, though, we could be wasting a substantial amount of time in our thought life.
I confess. I have. Looking back, I realize I wasted a significant amount of time with insignificant thoughts.
If you were to take note of the things you think about, what would rise to the top of the list?
I spent years using my thought life as a place to beat myself up. I let my thoughts take aim at all my weaknesses, and I wasted a ton of time relentlessly firing away. Over and over, I looped around thoughts of shame.
Why did I choose to take this path?
Regrettably, I know it was because of this constant underlying notion I was of no value. In our current culture, sadly, I believe this is a common belief. The invention of social media provides some benefits, but it also provides a way for those who struggle with their negative thoughts to drown.
I didn’t need social media to take me to the depths of despair. What drove me there were difficult life circumstances. In spending an abundant time of thoughts on myself, I missed the truth of God. Instead of maligning my character, what would have been beneficial would have been for me to focus on the character of God.
Who God is reveals who I am.
Who do you focus on?
In focusing on myself, I was not able to move forward. I served God, but I did not grow in my relationship with Him because I could not get past myself.
Through writing this blog, I hope to encourage anyone else who finds themselves stuck. Imagine being in an ever-consuming vat of quicksand that is anything but quick. You swiftly sink in but stay perpetually buried with only your head afloat above the sand.
Fighting against the shame by continuing to shame yourself through your thoughts, keeps you stuck.
Instead of focusing on ourselves, it is important to focus on the character of God. Studying who He is, not who we think He is, but truly who He is through His Word, gives us a lifeline—His lifeline.
Who do you believe God is?
Do you see Him as angry? Do you imagine Him pointing a finger at you with disappointment in His eyes?
I did. I truly believed the worst of myself because I believed the worst of God.
In becoming a Why Wrestler, I realized many of my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors occurred because of what I thought of God.
My thoughts weren’t Biblical. They were thoughts I believed and picked up over time, and these thoughts of God drove me to despair.
If you were to list your thoughts of who God is, what would rise to the top of the list?
Years ago, I would have said:
Sadly, these were the characteristics I witnessed in a few Christians, and I naturally assumed this was a reflection of the God they served.
As time went on, I began to see God was not as I believed. He was not watching over me, waiting for me to make a mistake. I was constantly shaming myself in my thoughts, but that was me, not God.
Over time, I have learned more of who God is through His Word and His Son Jesus. God is very different from what I first thought. I have learned and continue to learn through Scripture:
- Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
- Psalm 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
- John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
- Luke 6:35-36 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
- Hebrews 4: 15-16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Why do I think about what I think about?
Maybe like I did, the things you think about lead you to a place of despair and distance from God. If you start asking the whys your thoughts, feelings, and actions, I believe it will move you to see more and more of God. The questions start with our whys, but when we go to God to learn the answers, He will lead us to a deeper relationship with Him.
I know I am moving past shaming myself and moving forward on my spiritual journey because I trust God more and more. I trust that I can talk to Him about everything and know that He forgives me and helps me change through the work of the Holy Spirit.
I know I will never comprehend all of God, but I can learn more and more of who He is in the stillness with Him. I can follow Him in faith, even when life is hard because my relationship with Him is growing and giving me life. It is not by what I do, but by who He is and who He is creating me to be.