I asked my friends on Facebook this morning what 3 words would have described them and their state of mind when they first woke up this morning. There are no responses yet. I asked because if I had to answer this morning, they wouldn’t have been words that I would like to share. They were not necessarily sunshine and happiness, the picture we frequently like to give to the outside world through social media.
We live in a time when some of us, me included, share a lot with the outside world. Perhaps we overshare. Perhaps we share thoughts best kept to ourselves or in a discussion with a close friend or even more, in prayer. Words between us and Jesus.
What words do you think the Older Adults among us would share as their first words when they wake up? I would imagine the range of thoughts and feelings from our more experienced friends are as wide ranging as they are for anyone. Are those words more hopeful? More thoughtful? More wise? More words of woe or words of gratitude and expectancy?
I am in the midst of Instructor Training with Revelation Wellness. “Love God. Get Healthy. Be Whole. Love Others.” is the mission statement. I am learning how to use fitness as a way to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. During one of the lessons, Alisa Keeton, the founder, teaches the your feelings need a friend and your thoughts need to be tested. Our feeling are ours, but the thoughts we often have in our head are not true. They are negative, hurtful, untrue and do not hold up against the Word of God. This happens often when we are looking at ourselves from the standpoint of body image and physical fitness.
Take Your Thoughts Captive
Taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ is no small feat, especially somedays. How do we do this? Why should we?
Second question first: Why? Because it is right there in God’s Word.
“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.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
First question: How?
We need to examine our thoughts. Are they true or do we just feel like they are? Is it really true? Your thought is true when aligned firmly with the Word of God. Does it align with God or the world. Yes, sometimes these are the same, but too often they are not. What do you most often pay attention to? The world’s perception or God’s?
God’s Word for Older Adults
Does the Bible really have verses just for the aged? Of course! All of God’s Word, promises included are true for everyone. Regardless of our age, we are children of God.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
There is nothing in this verse, or any other, that says there is an age limit on being a child of God.
But the Bible also speaks specifically to Older Adults. Examples of this are:
He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. – Ruth 4:15
And I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. – Isaiah 46:4
Wisdom belongs to the aged. – Job 12:12
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” –Psalm 92:12-14
God’s Word and God’s promises are for everyone who calls on His name and for any age.
Back to taking your thoughts captive…
Sometimes we all feel discouraged. We may feel less than. Our first three words in the morning may not be complimentary. We speak more harshly to ourselves than we ever would to anyone else. How that must sadden our Father in heaven who loves us and created us in His image.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). It is easy to forget that sometimes, especially when we hurt all over or are not as energetic as we would like or once were. When I am in a good frame of mind, I can easily think that happiness is a choice. When there is illness or bad news or just a bad night of sleep, we can be hard pressed to make the choice for joy.
Even on those days, we must take our thoughts captive. Especially on those days we need to really challenge our thoughts. We need to see if they align with the love and promises of God we find filling the Bible.
We read things such as, “You are not responsible for your first thoughts, but you are responsible for the next thought.” Have you heard that before? That does take discipline. It also involves remembering Paul’s teaching in Philippians 4:8:
8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
Disciplining those captive thoughts…
If we disciplined our thoughts, filled our minds with the Word of God, then our second thought would more likely result from discernment and wisdom. We could better follow a path of hope and a path of truth. This path is more likely to lead to actions and feelings that are beneficial.
There is so much comparison that goes on in our world. I might suggest we stop comparing ourselves to our spouse, our sibling, or our neighbor. Either we are filled with pride when we judge ourselves better than another or filled with despair when we feel we do not measure up.
In reality, we are children of God. We are children of the most High. Co-heirs with Jesus. Just read Romans 8:16-17.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
What are Your 3 or 4 Words Going to Be Tomorrow Morning? Try these.
“Co-Heirs with Christ!”
“Child of God!”
“Still producing fruit!”
“Fearfully & Wonderfully Made!”