Impatient Toddlers

Scripture commands us to fix our minds on the positive and also to take every thought captive (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). The writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way: “Beware of what you dwell on for that you shall surely become.” Wow, how convicting!

It’s hard sometimes.

I know I am supposed to think on things praiseworthy and lovely but negative ideas have a way of dominating my thought life. We like to believe our family, friends, and/or circumstances determine our contentment… when in reality it’s our thought process.

I love how Linda Dillow describes negative thoughts in her book, “Calm My Anxious Heart:”

“My negative thoughts are like impatient toddlers jumping up and down and screaming, ‘Look at me, look at me.’ Jesus and I take the negative ‘toddler thoughts’ and send them to time-out so we can focus on the good thoughts. Sometimes they don’t obey. They get up out of the chair and once again scream for attention. Then Jesus and I take those thoughts back to the time-out chair, but this time we tie them up!”

If you’ve been around a toddler, this imagery fits.

Just like a toddler, negative thoughts demand our attention. They grab packs of Crayola’s and smear out all the good stuff. They cause normal-calm-mama to explode in hot-head mama.

At this point whose holding who captive?

I love when Linda says, “Jesus and I,” take the negative thoughts and tie them up. It’s not easy holding our thoughts captive… but we don’t have to do it alone. When thoughts become problematic, Jesus will sit negativity down while we string it up!

We must take control of our mind. We are commanded to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind,” (Romans 12:2). The renewal of our mind only happens when we take negative thoughts captive and dwell on the positive.

Write a list of the negative and positive aspects of the circumstances God has allowed in your life at this time. Which do you dwell on more? 

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6 Responses

11.22.11

Kelli,

Oh my how I have been that impatient toddler, jumping up and down screaming for attention, and now that my behavior has been put in that perspective, I am a bit embarrassed by it.
Kandi recently posted..The Train Station – A Thanksgiving StoryMy Profile

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11.22.11

What a timely post, Kelli. Just today I was dwelling a lot on some negative (in my eyes) circumstances in my life. A friend encouraged me to see past these circumstances to the blessings. I like this analogy of putting our thoughts in time out, like an impatient toddler. Great encouragement! Happy Thanksgiving!
Lisa recently posted..Such FoolishnessMy Profile

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Great post we are like toddlers in some ways sometimes God tells us to take a time out too but how often do we really listen and do it…Thanks for sharing.
Desiray Lewis recently posted..You Just Never Know!My Profile

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11.22.11

Hi Kelli – my thoughts definitely run rampant when allowed and I usually only figure this out after they have had a field day in my mind. Trying to catch them earlier and when I do, there is definitely an attitude change for the better in me. Great post
God bless
Tracy
Tracy recently posted..Winsome Wednesday – He only is my Rock!My Profile

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11.22.11

Awesome encouragement. Sometimes our thoughts need a time out. Love that!
Jenifer recently posted..Word Filled WednesdayMy Profile

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11.22.11

YES… “We like to believe our family, friends, and/or circumstances determine our contentment… when in reality it’s our thought process.” How we process our circumstances makes all the difference. God’s perspective changes everything.

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