You Need to Think About What You Think About
“Fools will believe anything, but the wise think about what they do.” Proverbs 14:15 (NCV)
Every behavior is based on a belief.
If you act scared, it’s because you believe scary thoughts at that moment. If you act resentful, it's because you believe you’ve been devalued, and so you’re going to defend yourself. If you’re acting prideful, it may be because you believe you’re not good enough, so you’re trying to compensate by being boastful.
If there is a behavior in your life you don't like, go to the source and change the thought behind it. God says in Haggai 1:5, “Carefully consider your ways!” (GW).
Ask yourself: Why do I act that way with this person? Why do I act this way at work or school? Why do I act this way with certain neighbors? What thought triggered that response? What assumption is behind that action? What belief is beneath that behavior?
Have you ever been in this kind of conflict with your spouse or significant other: It starts off simple enough -- but before you know it, something in the argument triggers your emotions, and you go from zero to 100 in emotional intensity in two seconds? Then you're out of control, upset, nervous, or fearful. You may start sweating, or your voice may rise. Maybe tears start coming down your cheeks.
Something in that moment tapped into an unspoken belief. You may believe the other person is going to leave you. You may believe you haven't been heard. You may believe your idea isn't being given validation and you're not being treated with respect. You believe something that suddenly triggered an emotional response.
If you’re ever in a situation like that, you need to ask this question: What am I believing right now? You need to examine the beliefs beneath your behavior.
The Bible says in Proverbs 14:15, “Fools will believe anything, but the wise think about what they do” (NCV).
To grow in any area of life, examine what's going on in your mind. Start thinking about what you’re thinking about so your thoughts can lead to healthy, purposeful action.
Talk It Over
Think about a behavior you’ve tried to change over the years. What are you believing that causes you to act this way?
Why is it important to think about the belief behind a behavior before you act?
When you’re in a tough conversation with someone close to you, how is it helpful for you to think about the beliefs behind your emotional responses?
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This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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