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Finishing Faithfully 7.0: What’s In Your Thought Closet?

What’s In Your Thought Closet?

Finishing Faithfully 7.0

 

Currently, we are stripping wallpaper off our bedroom walls and remodeling the adjoining bathroom. Consequently, every piece of furniture in our master bedroom is under heavy plastic, and our closet is barricaded with tape to keep out the dust.

During this project, we are sleeping in the guest bedroom with the clothing items we expect to wear hanging on a rolling rack beside the bed. Our garment choices on this makeshift “closet” are somewhat limited. So when we get up in the morning we find ourselves checking to make sure nothing is slightly smelly from more frequent use or unraveled—or even shrunken—from more frequent washing…because, like most people, we want to be pleasant and presentable when we go out in public.

Jennifer Rothschild has written a delightful book called Self Talk, Soul Talk, in which she makes an interesting connection between the clothes we pick to wear and the thoughts we allow ourselves to carry around with us. Mrs. Rothschild’s point is: just as we don’t want to wear ill fitting or bad smelling clothes, we don’t want to go around all day thinking and expressing thoughts that reek with immaturity or that prove to be ill-fitting for the occasion.

It’s not unusual to have pessimistic thoughts float through our brains when we make a mistake or experience disappointment. The problem comes with inviting those thoughts into our souls and making them part of our self-talk and belief system.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It’s true, and psychologists tell us that when we have a mindset that replays thoughts of discouragement, fear, anxiety, anger, or jealousy, we may be wasting our minds and hurting our relationships.

Bible study teacher Kay Arthur says we would be wise to frisk our thoughts when they come in the doorway of our minds and ask ourselves: Is this really true? If it’s not, we can reject it and send it right back out our mental doorway. However, if it feels partially true, we can look to Philippians 4:8 and ask ourselves if this thought is worthy to be focused on? Is it noble? Pure? Lovely? Excellent? Praiseworthy? Just? In other words, will thoughts like this make my workday and my relationships better or worse?

For example, when things go wrong, we may be tempted to tell ourselves such things as: I’m a loser,” or “this is just too much. I can’t take it anymore.” But those statements are not true. God created every single human being in His wonderful image. Additionally, His Word tells us His Presence always goes with us, and we can deal with all things through His strength.

The thoughts we take into our day and speak into our relationships communicate our beliefs and character, just as our clothing choices communicate our personality and sense of values. So when I realize that most people would rather associate with someone reflecting tranquility and hope than with someone spewing frustration and defeat, I realize more than ever that what I hang in my thought closet is extremely significant.