Week Four – Monday
“A New Mindset”
If you have made it this far, you are doing great. Just a few days left but hopefully this has helped make new habits and will leave you hungry for this daily time with Him. While it has been challenging for you, it was also quite challenging for me. Sitting down and focusing to write these required me to fight against the A.D.D. and stay committed through the process. It has been a blessing for me as well to share my heart with you and I hope you too have been blessed.
As we begin this last week, you might find that this is also the most challenging week. Though challenging, it could quite possibly be the most rewarding of all the weeks. This week, I want to challenge us to think differently. I’ve noticed lately how negative attitudes have been just about anywhere I’ve gone. With the world in its current state, it seems incredibly easy to find something negative to say. I would even say that we are programed to see the negative things. It’s everywhere we look. If we are not careful, we will fall into the trap of negative thinking.
It can be really easy to pick out the bad things but it can be just as easy to see the positive things as well. It all comes down to what we are focused on. It’s no secret that if we are constantly focused on the negative, your life experiences will be mostly negative. It’s when we shift our thinking and begin to focus on the positive things of life, that we can find ourselves in a much better position. Our lives will be more fulfilled, we will be happier, and even be more content. This takes a shift in our mindset to move from the negative to the positive.
After telling them to be anxious for nothing, Paul writes these words to the church at Philadelphia: “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” Rather than focusing on the negative things that bring fear and anxiety, he challenges them to things on the good things. If its not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, we shouldn’t allow it to take room in our thoughts.
This kind of mindset shift is not something that happens overnight, but with daily practice, we can “renew our minds” to one like Christ. When our thoughts are not constantly burdened by the wickedness of this world but rather the goodness of God, we will find ourselves in a much healthier place physically, emotionally, and spiritually. More often than not we are so focused on whats not right we miss all that is. Thats why its so important to stay focused on the right things. When we take a step back its easy to see just how faithful God is and how blessed we really are.
Father, forgive me for failing to recognize the blessings in which you’ve given me. Help me to stay focused on the right things in life and not take for granted your faithfulness. Help me to keep the good things in sight instead of only seeing the bad. Thank you for all you have given to me and the love you pour out daily. In Jesus Name, Amen.
This Weeks Challenge
I know what you’re going to say. Pastor this weeks challenge is too extreme. Let me just say, I agree with you and I apologize ahead of time. Before you show up to the church with pitchforks and run me out of town, let me let you off the hook. You don’t have to participate. I know its hard and for some will be more than you might be willing to commit to. When God laid this on my heart, I knew it was crazy. But the more I prayed and thought about it, the more I realized how significant it was. I knew that this could be the most challenging one yet, but also one of great impact.
We often take for granted simple blessings and overlook just how wonderful we have it. We forget to be thankful for even the small, insignificant thangs and this can easily lead us to a road of ungratfulness. I want us to spend this last weeks challenge focusing on being thankful for the little things. To help us be more mindful, I invite you to join me in the most wild challenge yet. For the rest of this week, I challenge us to take cold showers. I know, I know. But we overlook how special it is to take a hot shower. To have hot water. To even have a faucet with clean water on demand. There are so many little blessings in the daily showers we take and we have an opportunity to be mindfully grateful for them.
My hope is that this one sacrifice will jumpstart our minds to look for other things to be thankful for that we often overlook. More than just being thankful, but to take time to actually thank God for so many things throughout our day. Now, I know its been cold, so if you can’t stand the cold then warm it up a little. The goal is to let it be a reminder to be thankful for all the ways we are blessed. By the time you get into your next hot shower you will be even more thankful.