The book Jesus Always speaks to me in profound ways almost daily. Author Sarah Young – who suffers from chronic illnesses - writes throughout the 365 devotions as if Jesus is speaking DIRECTLY to you, based on scripture. Maybe you caught in my previous post Gifts of Joy how a friend (and I believe God) gifted me with this book that has meant so much to me and countless others. If you didn’t, I encourage you to read it – it’s brief – then come on back here.
Two weeks ago the day’s entry literally stopped me in my mental tracks with a thought I had never considered before, which is this… dwelling on our difficult circumstances can become an idol.
I thought idols were the desirable things we worship other than God, like money… people… education… careers. Because of copyright restrictions I can only share a short excerpt, but the next time you’re standing in the checkout at Hobby Lobby pick it up and flip to October 10 so you can read it in its entirety, or better yet buy it from your favorite bookstore for daily inspiration. She writes:
“A troublesome problem can become an idol in your mind. If you consistently think about something – pleasant or unpleasant – more than you think about Me, you are practicing a subtle form of idolatry. So it is wise to examine your thoughts.” ~ Sarah Young, Jesus Always
Again, she writes as if Jesus is talking to you.
Do you devote most of your mental energies to your problems? I confess that right after my cancer diagnosis last November that I sure did! Almost every thought I had included cancer, some thoughts based on reality while the rest centered on fallacy. My oncologist assured me that my Stage 1 cancer was very treatable yet my mind was still planning my funeral service and the parting words I’d leave with my children.
How could focusing on money problems, marital problems, health problems, career problems, children problems, relationship problems, self-image problems, world problems, you-name-it problems become an idol? Not that Young puts it this way, but I think it’s because when we dwell on our trials, we're electing to trap ourselves in a form of emotional bondage, versus choosing Christ, who came to set the captives free. When our struggles are the first thing we think of when we awake in the morning and when we collapse into bed at night, we’re neglecting to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” We’re allowing our minds to run amok instead of surrendering our cares to the One who can and desires to bring us peace amidst our suffering.
So what’s the panacea for those of us who earn a gold medal in stinkin’ thinkin’?
Once we’ve become aware of our negative pattern of thinking we’re to confess it to Jesus, then ask Him to fill our thoughts with Him and other good things. We also need to take action by padding our minds with the Word. (I’m preaching to myself, here.) This requires discipline like anything else worth attaining. We don’t expect to drop 10 pounds without CONSISTENTLY changing our eating habits or hitting the gym. A day here and a day there of doing what we know is right simply won’t cut it. But you know that.
I’ve shared so many powerful messages from Jesus Always on-air during my morning show that I expect to receive a royalty check in the mail any day now. And perhaps a phone call from Ms. Young’s lawyer.
May the Lord grant you peace as you intentionally choose to walk with Him each day thinking about...
...“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable.” ~ Philippians 4:8
Funny that the title "Author" appears above this description yet I have no idea what to share about myself in this space! How about my first name is Kim. My last name is Tisor. Tisor rhymes with miser, though I try not to be one.
For more information about me, please visit the author page.