By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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Enjoying Life Begins With a Choice

Would you like to be in a good mood every day? You are probably thinking, Yes, of course I would. Who wouldn't?

I spent a lot of years being controlled by a variety of moods and believing I had no choice in how I felt. I envied all the "happy people." I used to wonder, What is their secret? Why them and not me?

Then I finally learned that our mind, mouth, moods and attitudes are all intricately connected. First you think, and then your thoughts turn into words that you speak, and the two of them together affect you emotionally and turn into moods and attitudes.

For years, I paid no attention to what I was thinking, and I didn't make the connection between my thoughts and the rest of my life. But the Lord has taught me many things from His Word about the "mind connection" since those early days, and I'm excited to share some of those truths with you.

Enjoying Life Begins with a Choice

Although we don't always have the power to change every unpleasant circumstance in our lives, we do have the power to change our outlook. Nobody enjoys a troubling or painful circumstance, but I've found if we look at it in a hopeful, faith-filled way, we can watch God work all things out for our good (see Romans 8:28).

Enjoying life begins with the thoughts you choose to think. Yes, it is that simple! No matter what is going on in your life today, if you will choose happy, hope-filled thoughts based on God's Word, you will feel happier. Our thoughts are intricately connected to our feelings, so if we want to feel better, we need to think better.

Think of the mind like the gas tank in your automobile. Your automobile will run well, or perhaps not even run at all, depending on what kind of fuel you put into it. In the same way, when you choose your thoughts carefully, your quality of life will improve in amazing ways!

Sure, there are some people who are born with a temperament that makes it easier for them to look on the bright side of life than others, but even they have to make choices about their thoughts and attitudes toward life.

Be honest with yourself and think about what you have been mentally focusing on and how you have been feeling emotionally and even physically. I feel certain you will see a definite connection. Nothing good comes from thinking sour, critical, and negative thoughts, but something good always comes when we think according to God's plan for our life.

The Key to Transformation

Through His death and resurrection, Jesus offers us a new way of living; however, a new way of thinking will always precede this new way of living. Right thinking and right attitudes are roadmaps that allow us to reach our destination.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), (fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs). But be transformed (changed) by the (entire) renewal of your mind (by its new ideals and its new attitude), so that you may prove (for yourselves) what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God ... "

This Scripture is so important for us to understand! God has a good, acceptable, and perfect plan for you and me, and the way we can experience it is not to think like the world thinks, but to be changed entirely by learning to renew our mind and think the way God thinks. If you want to have what God wants you to have, learn to think like God thinks!

Ephesians 4:22-23 is one of my favorite groups of Scriptures in the Bible. Verse 22 says to "strip yourselves of your former nature." Then verse 24 tells us to "put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image."

How do we do that? Verse 23 gives us the key: "And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]."

So, the way to "put off" your old life and "put on" the new is to constantly renew your mind and attitude. It begins with filling our minds with God's Word, then choosing to think and speak the positive, faith-filled things He says about our lives.

One Step at a Time

Renewing our mind, mouth, moods and attitudes isn't always easy, but it is possible with God's help. I have personally been working toward this goal for almost 40 years, and although I have not arrived at perfection, I have made amazing progress. I have successful days, and I also have days when I feel like I've failed miserably, but I believe with God's help I can keep growing.

If you desire greater emotional stability, and the ability to maintain a consistent good attitude no matter what your circumstances are, then make it a goal and don't give up until you have reached it.

A walk begins with one step and then another and another. No matter how long your journey seems, if you take enough steps in the right direction, you will eventually arrive at your desired destination ... and truly have the life you've always wanted.

Your Turn

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