Are your thoughts at war in another world?

Challenge Question #4 for leaders and teachers

Are your thoughts at war in another world?

The other day I said to myself, “Self…” and before I could finish my sentence, self whispered back “Shhh, I’m sleeping.”

It took me a while to realize that we don’t always agree, myself and I. There are the things I would like to think are true, the things I wish were not true and the things that if they are true, change the possibilities of everything I have ever thought. I know I am the only one who argues with himself. I know none of you have ever struggled with the very notion. I am certain your decisions are always easily made, quickly decided, finally determined and immediately acted upon. Otherwise, you might experience the same “inner war.”

Is this the right guy/ girl? Is this the right job? Do I want the red one or the blue one? Should I take the job offer or stick with the job I have? Am I really as good as I think I am? Will I fail if I try this new venture? Did they really offer to pay me for this? Did I rip them off? By the way this blog comes with a money back guarantee. If you don’t like it, I will refund exactly what you paid me to get it. Otherwise I would feel guilty… or would I?

If you follow the scriptures and teachings of Jesus and His disciples, (I do) you have likely heard this phrase, “We wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers and rulers in dark places and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” Surely at some point you have asked the same questions millions of people have asked. “Who exactly are these rulers in dark places? Why are we wrestling with them anyway? What if I just ignore them? Will they stop wrestling with me? Are they like the school ground bully who will eventually get bored and quit if I leave them alone or refuse to respond?”

Sadly, the simple answer is they will not stop wrestling with you so long as you are alive on this earth, because you are the prize in their war and the place they fight is your mind. But you must understand, you mind is not just the turf they FIGHT ON – it is also THE TURF THEY FIGHT FOR.

If your mind is not guarded, protected by specific thoughts, trained to identify and challenge random harmful thoughts like fear and doubt and hatred and self loathing and prejudice and malice and lust and jealousy and… then these are exactly the type of arrows that will be hurled at you when you least expect it.

In the  middle of a sales or business meeting, a random thought, not your own, will whisper something insidious like “picture them all in their underwear.” Suddenly, you’re distracted and unable to focus on the task at hand. If you don’t banish that thought quickly, then you may begin to meditate on it and individually picture each person in their undies. If that doesn’t make you laugh, it might lead to intrigue, “Well if he/ she looks that good imagined in their skivvies, what if they were without those too?” At best, you are not fully aware and engaged in the moment, at worst, you have lost your attention into a trap of lustful thoughts that could lead you quickly into a very dark place where relationships and integrity are at risk of great peril.

In light of what you have just read, what are the odds that your mind is at war? Maybe you battle with self esteem. Maybe your war is self loathing or body image or a string of broken relationships leaving you wondering if you will ever be loved again.

Believe me when I say, your mind is always working. Thoughts are always engaging. Outside and inside influences are perpetually seeking your attention and focus. Please be vigilant, intent and passionately aware of those thoughts and their impact on your well being.

I read a story once of a man who had committed suicide. When the investigators were going through his home they found a note that read, “If one person smiles at me and says ‘Hello’ before I get to the bridge, I won’t jump.”

Also remember the power you have to influence the thoughts of others. Please speak kind and loving words, to your friends, your family, yourself and even strangers. They just might save a life. This is a war we can win, if we don’t try to ignore it.

Blog for 3-23-16
thought life, thought leadership, relationships, willpower, discipline J Loren Norris, blog

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