Thoughts. Thousands of them scroll through our mind just as sudden as aimlessly scrolling through our social media feeds. We can’t even begin to measure how many invade our mind every day; however, what we can determine is whether or not those thoughts will become life-giving or not.
The dictionary definition defines a thought such as
(n). an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind
Since the mind is so powerful and has the ability to affect our emotions, our daily encounters with others, as well as God, we must be aware of the thoughts that accommodate our daily walk. An uninvited thought, if entertained, will lead to loss every time.
And, while the mind is powerful, you and I have been given the job, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to take into captivity the very thoughts that will lead to destruction if left unattended.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:5
Recently, I published my first book, Unkempt Secrets from The War, a historical fiction novel set in England during World War II. When I first started writing, I had no intention of ever releasing it to the public eye for to do such a thing is a very vulnerable thing (as every artist knows).
In January, I took the leap of faith and published my book. Since I self-published the book due to editing and publishing fees that are far beyond my post-college grad budget, I was my own editor, which means that there are bound to be errors within a 410-page novel, no matter how many times I read through the pages and hoped for a perfectly published book. Self-writing and editing a book in British English is no easy task.
In the initial launch of the book, I didn’t know what to expect. Would anyone even buy it? Would people even enjoy it? I had to learn to overcome every thought that told me I was not qualified nor educated enough to publish a novel.
Fast forward a few months and I have sold around 100 books, both in E-book and Paper form. I have received several well-written reviews on Amazon and have been surprisingly overwhelmed by the feedback from avid book club readers, and lovers of British Drama alike, who have told me what an incredible story it was and that they can’t wait for my next novel to be released(which is being released later this year).
Yet, last week, one little thought entered my mind and demolished all of the feelings of success or satisfaction in fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a published author. Flipping through the black and white pages of my book, I noticed a quite significant error, an error that then made me believe that I should have never published the book in the first place(a little dramatic). And, then, it really hit me.
Isn’t that just like the enemy? He will pinpoint one error in our lives or other people lives which then makes us cancel out “the book” which is a metaphor for ours or someone else’s character. We can either choose to entertain that one thought that points to that one error, that one flaw, that one inconsistency, that one thing that I do not like about myself or another, and then allow it to cancel out everything that we have worked so hard for.
“For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.” -James 3:2
If you are looking for perfection within your relationships, within the church, within your ministry, within your home, within your family, and within your own personal accomplishments, I have news for you. Such a thing does not exist, for we are flawed humans who still live in the flesh. There will come a time when flaws and errors will be revealed in our lives, but don’t allow those small, quick judgments to overrule a healthy relationship, a healthy home, a personal accomplishment, or your own spiritual journey with God.
Darling, be careful as to what thoughts you invite into your life; uninvited thoughts will leave you at a dead end where you will believe more in social media’s perfect agenda to have it all together rather than in the agenda of the One who says, My grace is sufficient for you.
Thus, today, I chose to cast out the thought that left me anxious and frustrated with the self-publication process. Instead, I choose to focus on the many other words of encouragement that have left my readers wanting more. And, what a powerful lesson it was- a lesson that I hope you and I can apply to our everyday lives. Let our thoughts choose grace daily.