Stinking Thinking

I read a statement this morning that truly stomped all over my toes.  Why?  Because I realized it was true.  The statement was this:  "A person who is worrying either does not know the promises of God or they do not believe them."  A sharp pain pierced through my heart as I read the statement over and over again.

I am a worrier!  I worry when I don't have things to worry about.  I worry about how to pay the bills, how to get everything done in a day, how to help my husband more, how to be a better Christian, how to be a better wife, and on and on.  Around our house, it's a big joke about how much I worry.  We use phrases to describe me like "I make coffee nervous" and "You're such an Eeyore Christian."  But I realized this morning, that my worry is no laughing matter.

I know the promises of God.  I read them daily.  I memorize them.  I quote them.  I even just finished teaching a series of lessons on the promises of God to our ladies' Sunday School class.  Yes, I'm quite familiar with the promises of God, yet I still worry.  According to the statement above, what does that mean?  It means that I don't believe them.

At first, I argued the point.  "I do believe.  I know God's promises are true.  I know He says what He means and means what He says.  I know God never lies."  But is that really belief?  The more I examined my life, the more I realized the truth.  I don't really believe.  I approach life expecting to be disappointed.  I ask for things knowing that there's no way my prayer can be answered.  The sad part is that I don't even realize I'm doing it.

How is this possible?  It's called "stinking thinking."  It occurs when I allow my worries and negative thoughts to outweigh my faith in God's promises.  Worry takes place because I allow my mind to be so filled with the negative that there's no room left for the positive.  My trust has been displaced by worry and fear, and I allowed it to happen.  You see, worry doesn't take over in one fail swoop.  No, it is patient.  It works slowly, delving into your mind day after day and slowly replacing each of God's promises.  Then, when trials arise, the first thing that comes to mind is not one of God's promises, but one of the many worries that have taken root.

I admit that I knew I had a problem with worry, and I have been trying to work on it.  But I think I've been going about it the wrong way.  I've been trying to just conquer the fear and doubt, and I'm ashamed to say, I think I often try to do it in my own strength.  But worry cannot be uprooted this way.  To get rid of worry, I have to get rid of the "stinking thinking" and to do that, I need to replace those negative thoughts and fears with God's promises.  Yes, I know them, but I need to bring them to the surface, and I need to believe in them with all my heart.  I need to take what I know in my head and apply it to my heart.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being weighed down by "stinking thinking."  I'm ready for a change.  I'm ready to live life to its fullest.  I'm ready to start my days with confidence and expectation.  I'm ready to become a better person by thinking better thoughts.  I'm ready to believe God's promises are true with all my heart, soul and mind.  Will you join me?

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. - Mark 9:24