A Change in Pattern

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits - who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103: 1-5 (NRSV)

We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NRSV)

Delores Kight lives in Florida. One day as she washed dishes, she agonized over things she had said in an earlier conversation. She combed over her words. Why did I say that? I should have thought more carefully before I spoke. Delores pictured herself reliving the conversation and saying different words.

Then God spoke to her heart. She stopped berating herself and started to focus on worshiping God: Praise you, God, for you are my Creator. Praise you, for you are my Savior. Praise you, for you are my Sustainer.

When Delores finished her prayer of praise, she paused to contemplate what had happened. Earlier, when she was focusing on her shortcomings, she felt overwhelmed and exhausted. But when she switched her thoughts to praising God, she felt exhilarated and energetic.

This practice of redirecting her thoughts from beating herself down to praising God taught her that our Creator gives us the ability to change our thinking. We can change the pattern of our thoughts from focusing on ourselves to focusing on the Almighty. With this mindset we can live faithfully.

Delores has learned what many of us struggle with - changing our thought patterns. It is possible with time and effort. One example I have in my own life is playing the piano. When I was needed to play for church Sunday school many years ago, I rebelled. I wasn't good enough. I wasn't trained. There must be someone else. But finally I gave in and started playing for Sunday school. Over time, I realized God needed me to play and I could do it because I trusted in God. When I changed my focus to Him, it became an opportunity for me to practice so I could improve to the point that I was able to become the Worship leader for my church for around six months.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for showing us the ways you want us to live - in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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