By Toni Ford
There is a story of a little boy who was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat.
“I’m the greatest baseball player in the world,” he said proudly.
The boy then tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, “I’m the greatest player ever!”
The boy swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine the bat and ball carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, “I’m the greatest baseball player who ever lived.”
The boy swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.
“Wow!” he exclaimed. “What a pitcher!”
I love this story because it is all about one’s perspective, how we see ourselves and the thoughts we choose to have about our situation. Each day we are given the same opportunity to choose what perspective we will have regarding the challenges we face. Personally, my greatest weapon and strength comes from the Word of God. Here are just a few of the scriptures I pull from when I know I need a shift in my mind and outlook on life.
Deuteronomy 30:19. “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” It is possible to take toxic thoughts and change those to healthy thoughts, but it takes effort and action on our end to choose joy over discontent. The Lord wants us to live a life full of joy, and that is possible even in hard times, but it all begins in our thought life.
Romans 12: 2. “Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Changing the way you think changes your perspective which changes how you act in the world!
2 Tim. 1: 7. “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” God has given us the opposite of what this world gives. Our God is a God of power, love and self-discipline. If that is His very nature, He can never live in fear or powerlessness! If we are His child, then we have what is His!
2 Corinthians 10:5. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Take every thought captive; what a great idea. But is it even possible? Well, if we trusted God’s word, we would know it was possible. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Capturing your thoughts requires stillness, something that most Americans and many Christians have no time for. Taking time for prayer and reading the Word of God diminishes the power that our feelings, thoughts and emotions can have over us.
Lord, today we choose to surrender our thoughts, emotions and feelings to you. We ask you to strengthen us in your Word and we choose life over death, joy over discontent and peace over chaos. Thank you for revealing truth to us and for changing our perspective! Lord, we love you and praise you for your faithfulness!