Our thought processes and what we are thinking shapes not only how we treat others around us, but also how we treat ourselves.
One of my favourite scriptures is Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Often we get stuck in our old way of thinking (or even sucked into the world’s way of thinking) where we are stuck in old thinking patterns of believing that we are not good enough, we are not worthy, that we have to work hard and do, do, do or else we will never amount to anything. The problem with this thinking is that it is a pit of self-destruction, because this inner belief and inner reasoning is the way we see and process the things that are going on in our lives.
If you are finding that you are spending your time comparing yourself to others around you, whether it is in business life, family life, your body, your finances… the list goes on, then perhaps you are in need of renewing of your mind to correct your thought patterns.
Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”.
Renewing our minds is the process of embracing our true identity in Christ. Is is the putting off of the old, and accepting the new, allowing God to heal our hearts and our minds, and accept the purpose and identity of a child of God. As we embrace our identity as being created in his image, knitted together in our mothers wombs, chosen by God, created by God and loved by God.
Even if you have been told that you were an accident, God doesn’t make accidents, he knew exactly who you would be and had his plan set out for you right back at conception. We don’t need to wander around in a purposeless life, because we were made for a purpose.
When we live in the attitude and belief that we aren’t good enough, then we are caught in the trap that God doesn’t care and isn’t going to come through for us. This stops us from praying and spiritual warfare. It stops us from believing and declaring our future, our destiny and our victory.
Once we accept our identity (and believe it in our hearts), we can start to renew our minds to get rid of our junk thinking, we can stop believing we are unworthy or not good enough, and also get rid of our people pleasing behaviours. This frees us to look after ourselves, to choose self-care activities starting with truly praying, declaring our victory and fighting for the victory!
To help with our thought patterns for self care, we also need to take time to rest and do things we enjoy without the pressure to measure up to a certain standard. Often we are guilty of thinking we need to do and be everything for everyone (wives and mums, can I get an amen?) We don’t. To be able to look after our family, we need to make sure we are spending time doing what we love to do, because this is looking after ourselves.
Also, we need to stop neglecting ourselves. We need to stop running around in circles and making ourselves sick. Slow down and take the time to wash your hair, take that bath, go to your waxing appointment, paint your nails, get that massage, go for that run, make the healthy food. Look after your body and do what you need to keep yourself running well. Schedule the time, and actually do it!!
And most importantly, have a support network around you who you can call, text or meet where you can be honest as to where your thoughts are going, and who will kick your butt, remind you of your true identity and who will also lift you up in prayer.
What will you be doing this week to help your thought patterns and practice self-care?