At a dinner party with some friends and strangers, I struck up a conversation with a woman who had just got her dream job.
It was the ideal company, she told me, with great pay, a brilliant reputation, and a great training package. She had worked all her life to get this kind of job.
“Wow!” I said. “You must be delighted!”
“Well, actually,” she responded, “I’m extremely fearful. I feel paranoid that I won’t be good enough.”
“Huh,” I said. “But what if you’re not extremely fearful? What if you are just apprehensive? It is normal to be apprehensive about whether you’ll fit in in a new job with new people.”
She sat there and thought about it. Then she said, “You know what? That’s right. I’m apprehensive. It’s okay to be apprehensive.”
“But what if you are not really apprehensive?” I said. “It’s a great company, right? These are professional people. They must have seen something in you that they thought was worthy of giving you the job. They must be excited about you joining the company! There’s great training, great support—everything is right there for you. So what if, really, you are just a little anxious, but you are really intrigued about what God is going to do?”
She laughed. “Wow! You are right. It is a great company. They are the best of the best. They must have seen something in me. Yeah! A little anxiety is okay, but I am really intrigued now.”
“But what if you are not really anxious?” I continued. “What if you are quietly confident and really joyful? God has given you a great company to work for that brings out the best that He sees in you. What if He is quietly confident in His own ability to make you astonishing, and what if He is really joyful about the prospect of doing so?”
As she sat there and looked at me, her whole face changed.
“That is going to be my identity from now on,” she said, smiling. “Confidence with joy, that’s the new me.”
In just the span of our seventeen-minute conversation, she’d been able to remodel her thinking and emotions and put her perceptions of herself back in line with who God is. Seventeen minutes is all it took to move her from “extremely fearful” to “confidence with joy.”
Many of us have felt the same way this woman did at the beginning of the conversation. Even in good situations, our first thought is negative. We find ourselves overwhelmed by doubt and fear, and we find it difficult to see beyond our problems.
But what if you could make the same shift? What if you could upgrade your thinking and see beyond your fear?
God is devoted to changing the way you think so that your lifestyle can actually cultivate His affection for you. He wants you to stop giving into thinking that is rooted in fear, low-self esteem, and bad habits. He wants to bring your thoughts in alignment with who He is and the identity He has given you.
He is remodeling your mindset. He is reshaping the way you think, the way you perceive your life and your circumstances. And He promises that He is for us, even in scary situations. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He has overcome all the negativity. He has already overcome everything that is against you in the world.
What if you actually grabbed hold of that truth? What would you do if you had no fear? What would you attempt for God if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you plan to do if you were convinced that God would resource you?
When you come under pressure, what would it look like to default to who you are in Jesus, not to your fearful thinking and sin habits?
Beloved, your old, fear-filled self is dead. It has no voice. Your new self in Christ is being raised up so that you can occupy your circumstances completely differently. Listen to who you really are. Let God upgrade your thinking.
PS) If interested in more on this, take a glance at any of The Art of Thinking Brilliantly sessions on Brilliant TV or MP3s on Brilliant Book House.