A first glance the white flowers in the picture to the left add beauty to the shrubbery. After a closer look, a person can see the deceptive nature of its beauty. The white flowers are actually part of a nuisance vine that clings to a host plant and drains it of its strength.
A similar process can subtly take root in our lives. Something that seems harmless will attach itself to our daily routine. Eventually it will blossom into a habit that saps us of our strength and robs us of our vitality.
Because our thoughts can become habits and habits have a way of controlling our lives, we need to bring them into our awareness. A simple and effective way to do this is to follow the 4 Star Process that I try to practice.
1. Self-awareness: Become aware of what you are thinking by recording your thoughts.
2. Think about the thought. Is it catastrophic thinking? This type of thinking is characterized by words such as: always, never, should, and must.
3. Action: Many of our thoughts are part of an unconscious process. Because this process causes us to act without consciously thinking, we need to practice disciplined thinking. Use 4-G Thinking: Eliminate thoughts of Grudges and Gossip, and embrace thoughts of Goodness and Grace.
4. Rehearse: Successful public events are often preceded by hours of private rehearsal. Start and end your day by reviewing your potential Brain Drainers and Brain Boosters.
- Brain Drainers: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:5-10).
- Brain Boosters: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8)
Here’s a question to keep you thinking: What buds are about to blossom in your life?