On day 5 we addressed the topic of our personal thoughts and the words we use. Today we will continue to focus on the importance of having helpful thoughts that align with God’s teachings and promises.
As followers of Christ, we can’t pretend that terrible things don’t happen; they do, and Christ showed us how to face challenges with hope and reliance on God. Jesus faced negativity by turning to the promises of God, and the truth of His Word.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Mindfulness within a Christian context involves developing thoughts and feelings that are rooted in truth. If we are not right with God our thoughts will reflect that. When you are angry with someone how do you view them in your mind? Do you think of them with words that devalue them or do you focus more on the circumstances that are making you upset? No matter how godly a person you are, you’ll still experience anger towards other people, however, it is important to be aware of your anger and the thoughts associated with it.
Our negative feelings can cause us to see others and situations in the worst way possible. If we are able to check in with our feelings we will have a better handle on our emotions and this will free us to address the situation that is causing us discomfort.
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7
When we allow ourselves to habitually nurse negative thoughts in our minds, we become a negative person. No amount of pleasantry towards others and politeness can make up for the negative feelings you carry inside. God knows your heart and that is what He looks at. Admitting to yourself the negative thoughts and feelings you are experiencing frees you to become open and receptive to allowing the Spirit of God to change you. When you turn to God with your negative thoughts, His Holy Spirit, that spirit of wisdom will help to redirect you to turn your destructive anger into righteous anger. Righteous anger can be found in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
If you’d like to read more about the topic of anger as found in the bible and the difference between righteous anger and revengeful anger, here is a helpful article from bible.org. (Click on the link)
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
In your anger, learn to practice self-control. Mindfulness gives us that necessary pause that is required for rational evaluation of a situation. Keeping our emotions in check helps us to draw from God’s strength. He is there for us if we turn to help and ask for our revengeful anger to be transformed into righteous anger. Releasing our anger to God provides us with the opportunity to see a situation with His eyes and heart instead of our own.
- Revisit the Daily Examen exercises from Day 4.
- Afterwards, without self-judgment or criticism ask yourself how this experience was for you. Make special note of any areas where your anger seems to be the strongest or most frequent.