Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Whatever You Think, Please Think Again

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"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

Thinking about what our thoughts is very important, why? Because we are usually getting caught up with life matters and we become very distracted and too busy, our thoughts become so troubled and as a consequence our spirits become troubled also.

In order to keep a good relationship with God at all times, we must examine our thoughts continuously and see if they are a valid request.

In the Holy Bible we see many examples of people who lost their way because they did not take the time to examine their thoughts before they act such as:

The Prophet Elijah

"And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.' And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there" (1 Kings 19:1-3).

Elijah was full of confidence and power from God therefore he challenged King Ahab and told him, as the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word. He challenged all the Prophets of Baal and Asherah, all 450 of them, that God can be the true God. Now we see a complete picture of Elijah, how could such a confident and powerful prophet turn and run? He allowed his thoughts to take over and paralyze him and made him fall into fear and discouragement.

The Parable of the Rich Fool

"But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' 'So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.'" (Luke 12:20-21).

Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ gives us an example of the rich fool (Luke 12: 13) telling us that he thought within himself, "What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?" (Luke 12:17). He did not consider God nor did not think of others. Instead he has said to his soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry" (Luke 12:19). He lost everything because he only thought of himself.

The Prophet David

"Then Nathan said to David, 'You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.''" (2 Samuel 12:7-9).

David was a righteous man; he is referred to as, "The man after God's own heart" in 2 Samuel 12. But when David was distracted by his own thoughts and desires, he lost connection with God. Instead of doing the right thing, he fell into temptation and sinned by committing adultery and being responsible for the death of Uriah. God knew David's heart that is why he sent Nathan to David to remind him that he had despised the commandment of God and did evil in His sight. Although David confessed his sin and God forgave him, Nathan told him that the sword shall never depart from his house because of what he had done.

Martha Lazarus' Sister

"But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.'" (Luke 10:40).

Mary and Martha were full of love for our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. All Mary wanted is to sit under His feet and listen to every word, but Martha was too busy with many matters and not only that, she wanted others to share the same attitude. That is why "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'" (Luke 10:41-42).

Many times we find ourselves distracted with many matters in life such as what to eat, what to wear, where to go, who to invite…etc. and when it comes to spend some quality time with our Lord, we have no time, we are too tired.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Therefore, too many distractions will never help our spirit to flourish but will quench the Holy Spirit in us and lead us far away from our Lord. So examine our thoughts continuously by committing time and effort to spend time with God and improve your relationship with Him. By doing so, we will grow more and more in our spiritual life and we will be in peace and happier in the decisions we make.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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