A first glance the white flowers in the picture to the left add beauty to the shrubbery; however, the white flowers are actually part of a nuisance vine that clings to the 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 thoughts can become habits and habits can control our lives, we need to be aware of their presence. A simple and effective way to do this is to follow the 4 Star Process:
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 in which we act without consciously thinking, we need to practice disciplined 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. Benjamin Franklin said that, By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Rehearse and prepare by examining your brain drainers and brain boosters. These come in the form of the thoughts and habits that Paul speaks of in the verses that follow:
- 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?