Taking Back our Thoughts: Life lesson from Dr. Seuss’ book The Thinks You Can Think.
“Think left and think right Think low and think high Oh the thinks you can think if only you try.” Dr. Seuss
In the story, The Thinks You Can Think Dr. Seuss celebrates a child’s creativity. The story encourages a child to be creative with their imagination. However, if I could take it a step further I believe this book could also challenge all of us on a deeper level. This book challenges me to be watchful of my thoughts. Are my thoughts helping me or hurting me? Are my thoughts pleasing to Jesus?
The above quote reminded me of a similar scripture…
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT
Lesson: We have the power to choose what we think about. The way we think about ourselves, others and the world around us is up to us. We have the power to think positive. We have the power to hope for the best. We have the power to believe the best in others. We have the power to think about things that are good. We have the power to think thoughts that are good of ourselves. Honestly, most of our negative thinking is about ourselves. I know for me I need to change how I think about myself on a daily basis. I need to change what I think about! I often ask myself, If all my thoughts were listened to by others would I be proud of what is heard?
*If you have thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or others I encourages you to reach out to a doctor, a pastor, a friend, a teacher or a boss. REACH OUT TO SOMEONE! You do not have to face this alone. There is help for you and there is no shame seeking out that help.*
National Suicide Hotline Call 1-800-273-8255
One thing I am working on is story sharing. Sounds silly? Well… I recently noticed that when I read or hear a devastating or tragic story I tend to share it with others as a way to cope with the tragedy. Even though the story has no direct connection to me I still find myself dwelling on it and sharing it with others. I realized that this is of no help to anyone. It does not help me to consume my thoughts with whichever story it might be and it does no one else any good to be told the story so that I can process it. Here is what I have began doing.
1. If I hear or read a sad story I immediately STOP and PRAY for all who are involved in the story.
2. If I can help those involved I will.
3. Next I disconnect. I do not share it with anyone else and I do not continue to dwell on it.
4. Finally, If the story appears in my thoughts later in the day, I will again stop and pray for the individuals involved and I move on.
This is something I have to do in order to protect my thoughts. Others can hear and read sad stories and be just fine. I on the other hand struggle with letting the stories go and not trying to dissect every detail.
Challenge: It’s time we take back our thoughts. I want to encourage you to write down each negative thought that you have. After, find a positive thought, quote or scripture to replace the negative thought.
I put together a list of 5 common negative thoughts that we might face and a scripture to combat each one. I encourage you to create your own list as well. Enjoy!
Thoughts of Fear:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Tim 1:7 NLT
Thoughts of feeling worthless:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
Thoughts that say “I can’t do it”:
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 NLT
Thoughts that say “I am alone”:
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
Thoughts that say “I messed up too bad”:
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 NLT