It is so important to realize that the way we think leads to what we speak and do. Often I find myself thinking negatively and I need to stop and shift my mindset and thoughts. When we become aware of our thoughts and our words, we begin to change our mindset and we begin to live differently.
Joyce Meyer's book, Battlefield of the Mind goes into so much detail about this, it is an amazing book and each time I read it, skim through it or pick out nuggets from the chapters, I am reminded that this battle is constant and the more we focus on having a mind like Christ, the more we will see results in our daily walk and change our lives completely.
I do not intend to discuss thoroughly what Joyce discusses in the book, I can't do that to you. This is a book that everyone should read and add to their library, it's a resource for daily living and I wouldn't want you to miss out on all the revelation it holds. But, I do want to share with you nuggets of what she calls "Wilderness Mentalities", wrong mindsets, that we need to be made aware of in order to shift and change our thoughts and start living a positive life in Christ. So many of us find it hard to find joy in our Christian walk, and that's because we are struggling with understanding our identity in Christ and understanding why our mind is a battlefield and how we can overcome the attacks that are meant to hinder or even destroy our purpose.
Again, I encourage you to get yourself a copy of the book if you do not have one already, there's so much she shares and I am just going to briefly cover the 10 Wilderness Mentalities we need to overcome.
Joyce describes a Wilderness Mentality to be a wrong mindset that not only affects our circumstances, but also affect our inner life. Much like the Israelites, who spent 40 years in the wilderness, we can find ourselves going around and around the same mountains instead of making progress.
(Deuteronomy 1:6, Colossians 3:2)
She explains that a negative outlook leaves a person miserable and unlikely of making any progress toward the Promised Land.
The first wilderness mentality deals with a person who believes their future is determined by their past and present. This is when someone has no positive vision for their life or future because of their past. They know all too well where they come from, but can't see where they're headed because they are basing everything on their past and present circumstances. Bad thoughts produce bad attitudes and negativity and a lack of gratitude will not allow you to advance into your future. Leave the past in the past and cast your vision for your future! (Proverbs 29:18, Romans 4:17)
The second wilderness mentality deals with a person who does not want to take responsibility and wants others to do everything for them. To be responsible means to respond to opportunities that are placed in front of you. Taking responsibility for what is in front of us is the best way to learn to change our mindsets and see things differently. Most new ventures are exciting because they are new, and the excitement will
carry a person along but will not bring them into the success of the finish line. Personal responsibility cannot be delegated to others, we must be motivated from within to finish the task at hand. Set your mind to do what is in front of you and not run from anything you may find challenging.
(Exodus 32:30-32, 1 Peter 5:6-7)
The third mentality deals with a person who wants everything made easy for them. The problem with thinking this way is that when we find things too hard, our first instinct is to give up. Sometimes we give up in our own minds before we even attempt to do the task at hand, and we don't even realize we've lost the battle when we decide with our minds that it's too hard to even try. We need to set our minds to a right, positive way of thinking and looking at each new challenge as an opportunity to succeed and learn about and not as a task to complain and whine about. (Deuteronomy 30:11, Philippians 4:12-13)
The fourth mentality has to do with complainers, grumblers and fault-finders. It's all about attitude and how we handle life's situations with a positive or negative outlook. When we live positively, we are setting an example for others, we are shining our light brightly onto others. It's all about how we respond to events and situations when they arise. When we respond negatively, that negativity not only affects those around us, but it affects us, our minds and actions. Each time we complain, we first complain in our minds, which leads to complaining with our mouths. We need to watch our thoughts before they turn into attitudes, reactions and actions. Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
(1 Corinthians 10: 9-11, Philippians 4:6)
The fifth mentality deals with impatience and those who want everything immediately and don't want to wait for anything. Impatience brings negative attitudes. Since we are goal oriented people who always have something to look forward to, we find ourselves waiting for that breakthrough that we want. When we are waiting, we need to learn to enjoy where we are while on our way to where we want to be. While we wait, we must watch out for pride, and thinking that things should be done as quick as we think they should or would like them to. We need to be realistic, our journey isn't perfect so we must stay positive! Our job is not to control our circumstances but to respond to them in a positive way. When you learn to respond patiently in all situations, you'll be living a quality of life that is enjoyed to the fullest. (James 5:7, John 16:33)
The sixth mentality focuses on the blame game, when you realize your behavior is wrong, but think it's not your fault. There's a lack of taking responsibility for your actions and you blame everyone and everything for what's wrong. You need to get the "if" out of your mind... "If so and so would change...." "If things were different...." Change can happen when we are open to it and allow God to do it. If we want to receive His blessings, we must be honest with Him about ourselves. No hiding, but taking responsibility. Honesty and truth bring about change. Truth is a powerful weapon against negativity and a wrong mindset. When we hide ourselves from the truth, we avoid responsibility to take action and begin the process of change within ourselves. (Genesis 3:12-13, John 1:1-5)
The seventh mentality deals with self-pity and misery. Don't throw yourself pity parties. When every inconvenience becomes an excuse to engage in self-pity it is a wrong mindset. Self-pity is a tool that keeps us bound to negativity. It turns into selfishness and self-centered actions because we think since everything is so wrong in our lives, we deserve everything for ourselves. When we stop being a blessing to others and just dwell on our own self-pity, we are trapped in the past and in negativity. When we experience disappointment, we can be re-appointed because God gives us new beginnings!
(Philippians 2:4, Isaiah 43:18-19)
The eighth mentality focuses on the other blame game - shame; when you have a shame based nature and feel unworthy of being blessed. This binds us to living in the past. Feelings of disgrace and unworthiness because of your past will not let you succeed in your future because your mind is set on thinking you don't deserve success or happiness. Rejection and shame cause you to stay in the same painful mindset so that you won't progress into living a life of purpose and destiny. We need to be aware of what goes on in our minds in regards to ourselves. The past must be put in the past and we must look to a better and brighter future.
(Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 1:4)
The ninth mentality deals with jealousy and envy. Having jealousy and envy, and mentally comparing ourselves to and with others is a wrong mindset. Envy means feeling displeasure produced, by witnessing the prosperity of others. Jealousy means having feelings of envy, apprehension, bitterness; being fearful of losing what you have to another. We can't compare or compete with others in our journey of life. We are all unique individuals, created for a unique purpose in life. Examine your thought patterns when envy and jealousy arise because our value is not rooted in what we do, but in the fact that God loves us and sent His only Son to die for us. (Proverbs 14:30, 3 John 2)
The tenth mentality focuses on stubbornness, "it's my way or the highway." Stubbornness vs. wisdom - if we do not walk in wisdom, our stubbornness will lead us in circles all our lives, much like the Israelites. Stubborn means difficult to handle or work with, rebellious, resisting control or correction, unruly. With wisdom comes obedience. Our purpose in life is to be wise, obedient and respectful of others and of God. When we are rebellious, there is chaos and negativity, and no freedom to progress into your destiny because your mind is in constant resisting of control and correction. When we live like this, we not only destroy ourselves, but those around us as well. (Psalm 78:7-8, Romans 5:19)
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). -2 Corinthians 10:4-5
May our minds be Christ-like and may we learn to be alert and aware of our thoughts so that all negativity can be turned into positivity!
It is my prayer that this reflection be a part of your daily portion.
Love & Blessings,
Love & Blessings,