I am reading a book about addictions by Edward Welch right now. At first I couldn't really figure out why I was reading it. I bought it years ago because my daughter has battled a drug problem. Anyway, I picked it up a few weeks ago and have read a portion of it pretty much each day. It has definitely opened my eyes to my own struggles with different things that my flesh wants, whether it is a cold cappuccino on the way to church or listening to a conversation I shouldn't. Even though I have been a believer for well over 10 years, I still want what I want sometimes.
In the book, Mr. Welch encourages those struggling with the flesh to change a thinking pattern. For each time you think of yourself, you think a bout Jesus 10 times. At first I kind of dismissed the idea, but as I began to notice what I was thinking about throughout my day my mind changed. IT is amazing how many thoughts I have about myself, my problems, my wants, my sorrows, my joys. Me, me, me, me!!!!
What would happen in my life if each time I thought of my self, I thought about 10 different things about the Lord. His goodness, His forgiveness, His mercy, His love....the list could go on and on. It is possible to do it, it just takes me to put forth the effort. Am I willing to? Are you?
Sadly enough it will reveal to you how selfish we really are. Not something we want to see, much less admit. But I believe this could be what Paul means when he encourages us to pray without ceasing. How can we do it? By turning our thoughts toward Him every time we think of ourselves.
Lord, help us to focus on You. Help us to be so aware of our thoughts and what they produce. Selfish thoughts produce selfish people. We want our minds to be set on You. Then our actions will will be God-inspired. Thank You for changing our minds!