by Rev. James Wong
It is a good practice to make resolutions for the new year so that there is clear focus in life. I do not wish to live the same life over and over again every year, speaking the same words and thinking the same old thoughts. I want to grow to be better. I want to be transformed in my thoughts by the Word of God so that my mind is renewed, refreshed, reconditioned, realigned and rejuvenated.
The thoughts that you think about everyday rule your life. “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23-24 (TEV). The size and the shape of your life is influenced by your thoughts. Have you met people who are always singing the same ‘old tune’, complaining about the same old things over and over again? They have a 12 inches old record in their mind whereas people are using DVDs today! Old thinking will not produce new living. Wrong thoughts will not produce right living.
The NIV translation says this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV). So, the heart here refers to the entirety of your thinking. Above everything else in life you need to guard your heart from being polluted or defiled by defective thinking. How do you guard your heart? From Proverbs 4 we read the following:
1. Let God’s Word transform your thinking on a daily basis.
20 “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-21 (NIV). Make a commitment, a promise to God that you will honor and worship him everyday by reading and meditating on his Word. Underline those verses that speak directly to you. Memorize them so that the truth will replace all the imperfect thoughts you have. Do your daily devotion.
2. Choose carefully what you speak.
“Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” Proverbs 4:24 (NIV). Never say anything that isn’t true and have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. The words that you speak everyday will either defile you or keep you pure. “Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.: Ephesians 4:29 (NLT). Eliminate words that hurt others. What you speak reflects what is in your heart.
3. Focus on your worthy goals.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25 (NIV). Watch out for sideshow distractions. The fundamental failure in anything is broken focus. Backsliding in your spiritual walk with God is no other than broken focus. Write down your worthy goals and fix your eyes in achieving them. Distractions can change your heart and then the course of your life! What are your worthy goals for 2011? Without clear goals you can end up going in circles with a distracted heart.