Our theme for this month: “Take care of your body”
Our Bible verse for today: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
Our thought for today: “Develop a positive mental image of yourself.”
In recent decades it has become fashionable for Christian speakers and writers to debunk what is known as “the power of positive thinking” or the “self-help” movement – as if there is no value in thinking positively, and as if we are not capable of helping ourselves.
Nonsense. Not only is it imperative that we be optimistic and train ourselves to think positive thoughts, but we must also be proactive and intentional as we take responsibility for resolving our own issues and doing the things necessary to be the best person we can be. There is great power in positive thinking, and there is a lot we can do in terms of “self-help.”
This is Biblical. Yesterday we read Paul’s words of encouragement and exhortation in Philippians 4:8 about how we must train our mind to think right. Today we are considering Solomon’s great insight in Proverbs 23:7 which says how we think about things goes a long way towards determining how things actually turn out for us.
In 1903 philosopher and inspirational writer James Allen released his classic little book “As a Man Thinketh”. Here is some of what he wrote, “As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have happened without them.”… “Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.”… “The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought. … “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” And, “Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life.”
In 1952 Pastor and author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale published his book “The Power of Positive Thinking”. It built on Allen’s work but went into great detail explaining how a Christian man or woman could apply those principles in his or her life. It is still a good and helpful read today.
In 1993 Dr. James Loehr released his book “Toughness Training for Life”. In it he explained how Olympic and professional athletes use the techniques of positive mental imaging to achieve peak physical conditioning and winning professional performance.
My point in all of this is that how you think about yourself matters. The mental image you have of yourself goes a long way towards determining your actual physical condition. So regardless of who you are, no matter how old you are or what your current physical condition is, I encourage you to develop a mental image of yourself as you would like to be at this time in your life. Be sensible and realistic. Simply imagine yourself with the health you would like to have and the physical condition you would like to be in. Then hold onto that image and use it to motivate yourself as you take the steps and implement the disciplines needed in order to move you closer to that ideal “you” at this stage of life.
“For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It’s true. So develop a positive mental image of yourself and then do the things needed to achieve it.