What you say is what you are. That is mostly true but not always. We think and say things that are sometimes completely out of character and not consistent with who we are. We all do it. But the question that has been running through my head this week is, “Does our identity follow what we think or do our thoughts define who we are?”. The answer is both. Who we believe ourselves to be in our heart of hearts, definitely influences if not controls how we think. And how we think, absolutely affects the image we have of ourselves.
The scripture says in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Many people rightly point out that this is not the main idea of this verse in context but nevertheless, it is still true. Who we are on the inside is who we are. And we know that God wants to change us on the inside, so that our hearts and minds match Christ’s. The question for us is how do we change who we are? It seems to be a cycle that goes something like this. Our thoughts define our identity and our identity in return influences our thought patterns. To make a change, we simply need to change the way we think. And we can most certainly do that.
Try it today. Just 30 minutes before I sat down to write this blog, I found myself worrying about a particular thing that needed my attention. I began to talk to myself and say, “Why am I always having to deal with these kinds of problems?”. The negative thoughts were literally coming out of my mouth. But, then I took my own advice and stopped for a couple of seconds and replied to myself, “I am not going to think this way, I will instead, think like Jesus”. So I said to God quickly, “I believe that you are in control of my life and I’ll trust you in this and not worry”. Suddenly, my whole mood changed and along with my mood, at least part of my identity changed. Now I’m not thinking like the old Rob but like the new one. The nature that is like Christ has taken over and now I find that I like myself much more than I did just one hour ago. And why wouldn’t you like someone who is becoming more like Jesus?
Are you ready for this experiment? Try it, and you’ll find that the good stuff of God will come and real change in your heart will happen!