The Heart-Mouth Connection

By Linda Tancs

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the title character says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” You may not agree with that sentiment, but it does highlight a biblical principle—namely, not all thoughts are pleasing to God. That’s why we’re admonished to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Otherwise, the bad thoughts will make their way into your heart and come out of your mouth (Matthew 12:33-34). You are what you think (Proverbs 23:7). Would others view you differently if they knew what you were thinking?

***************

As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

Excuses, Excuses

By Linda Tancs

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else—Benjamin Franklin.

When you feel called to something, how do you react? Are you reluctant, like Moses (Exodus 3:11)? Are you willing, like Abraham (Genesis 12:1-4)? Or do you feel unworthy, like Isaiah (Isaiah 6)? When you’re called according to God’s will for your life, an opportunity is a wonderful thing to pursue (Ephesians 5:15-17). So why is it so hard sometimes?

Among other things, a fear of failure often leads to procrastination or choosing the path of least resistance (or so it seems). Don’t be afraid to take risks (Proverbs 22:13). Set reasonable goals (Proverbs 20:4) and have an attitude of expectancy, a return on investment (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, cast down your wrong thinking for the kind of thinking that Scripture advocates and you’ll overcome mindsets that undermine your efforts (Romans 12:2).

The Stuff of Life

How many times do you think or say distasteful things about the “stuff” of life, those daily things like washing the dishes, driving to work or grocery shopping? Spend a day tallying up all the negative words and thoughts you have about daily chores and ordinary activities. You might be surprised how often you find yourself musing over what you hate or detest or just can’t stand. But life is made up of the little things: making the bed, shopping, dressing, cooking, driving in traffic and all the rest. When you hate the stuff of life, which comprises the act of living, then what part of life is left to love?

As the old saying goes, don’t sweat the small stuff because it’s all pretty small. In everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18). After all, Jesus came that you might have and enjoy life (John 10:10).

Zechariah 4:10 warns not to despise the day of small things, so be mindful how you think. As you think, so you are (Proverbs 23:7).
 

Never Say Never

By Linda Tancs

Whenever I hear someone express a negative belief about being able to accomplish something, I’m often reminded of one of my favorite quotes attributed to the philosopher Goethe:  “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.” Negative beliefs often surround the subject of going back to school at a later age. Consider a 50-year-old who says: “I can’t go back to school now. I’ll be 54 when I graduate.” Well, you will be 54 (or whatever age it is) in any event. Growing older doesn’t take any talent or ability but it’s all the sweeter if you find opportunity in change. This point was aptly illustrated in a newspaper story about an older woman who elected to rise above some very challenging circumstances and attend a community college. She became homeless after losing her job, lost all her possessions when she couldn’t pay the storage facility, surrendered her children to relatives for their daily care and lost three loved ones to health issues within a single year. She remarked that if she could persevere through school as a homeless person, then anyone with a home could do it, too.

So what causes a person to visit Neverland and take up residence there? Oftentimes, something in the past holds the future captive—a negative life event that leaves one hopeless or depressed and unable to move forward. Conversely, prior success many install fear in a person that the best of times are already behind. In either event, Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that as we think, so we are. So forget the past (Isaiah 43:18), and look to God to lead you in the present (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Never say never; it’s as simple as that.