If all our thinking has brought us to a place that we do not like, it is time to acquire some new thoughts.
Our thinking always leads us somewhere. It is our responsibility to ourselves to ensure that our thinking is compatible with God’s great heart towards us.
Thinking produces an acceptance—whether true or false. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he in life (Proverbs 23:7a).
It is vital to check out our own self worth before the Lord. If it is good, then we will live in a place of effortless rejoicing. If the giving of thanks requires much effort, it is our thinking that must be adjusted.
In grace, we are all empowered to think highly of ourselves. Indeed, it is impossible to be in Christ and not think from a high place of appreciation of all that God has done and is doing. It is the launching pad for true worship. The acceptance of ourselves in the beauty of Jesus. If one of His Names is Wonderful, and we are in Him, it is appropriate to have a sense of wonder about ourselves and what God is creating in us.
Yes, we are encouraged not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Romans 12:3). This injunction makes me smile.
Firstly, it is given in the context of not being conformed to the worldly way of thinking about things. Secondly, it is given in the context of a mind renewal being the basis for a radical life transformation. Thirdly, how we think is meant to prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Fourthly, we are not told how high we are supposed to think of ourselves! We are told to think in a way that blends being calm with walking in faith! There is a lot of permission in that paradox. We simply must find the true place of acceptance in God’s vision for us.
Thinking creates expectation. If our thought life is poor, our possibilities in life are much reduced.
The assurances of God create a warmth and a trust that empower us to explore the nature of God and discover our true identity. As our identity begins to unfold, our sense of anticipation is quickened. It leads us to a new belief about ourselves and a fresh assumption that moves us into a great expectation of God.
The Holy Spirit is brilliant at moving us from theory to practice of the truth. The truth creates a fresh experience of God because it always leads us to encounter. Without experience in our relationships we cannot possibly grow beyond the initial connection. All relationships grow by encounter and experience of one another. What is true in the world is true also in the Kingdom. There are no ongoing encounters outside of the work of the Holy Spirit.
When we rethink our assumptions, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to empower our conclusions into an embrace of truth that sets us free to accept who we are in Christ—and step in to the freedom that He is creating around us.
There is a new space opening up for us in the life of Christ. The next phase of our growth begins with some new thoughts about who we are now and who we are supposed to become next in Christ.
This article is inspired by a chapter in Radical Perceptions.