Thought Patterns

Saturday, February 20, 2021


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) 

I woke up with an empty house during Day 1 of my 40-day no-complaint challenge. Before my feet touched the floor, I couldn’t find the remote control, so I complained to myself. 


Immediately, my spirit said “oh no! The challenge!” 


I got up and grabbed the remote control. A few moments later, I remembered I needed to call my brother and ask him a question. 


After formalities, I asked him the question. When he asked me, “how’s everything else going?” I immediately launched into a furious complaint feast. 


When I hung up the phone, my spirit was crushed. I failed the challenge twice on day 1 before 9:30 a.m.!


I learned that complaining was a well-established habit in my life. I was prolific at complaining. 


Only God could change me and allow me to stop complaining so naturally. I submitted my mind to him and tried again the next day.


Before a complaint goes to your lips it has to go through your mind. Did you know that you get to decide which thought patterns have access to your mind and which patterns stay out?  


That morning, my thought pattern was the following: I’m not satisfied with the blessings God gave me so I will find every opportunity to complain about it. The way to change a thought pattern is through Recognition, Change, and Maintenance. 


1. Recognition. How does recognition most likely happen? In your case, joining this group is the recognition you need to do better when it comes to complaining. In other instances, a friend who loves you and knows you well might alert you of your wrong thought pattern. Most of us hide our unhealthy thoughts, so you often recognize you need to change when you are sitting under Biblical Teaching. For example, you may be offended and when you get to church the teaching is about Forgiveness and loving your enemies. That’s when you have one of those ‘wow’ moments. God may use other ways to get you to a place of Recognition but remember that only those who realize they need help can be truly helped. Once you recognize your error, repent so God can do His work in you. 


2. Change. In order to change the wrong thought patterns of complaining, we need to face the Truth. Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). He came to save us from our sins and our afflictions. Facing the Truth of God brings a new revelation of God’s love in our lives. The fact is that God doesn’t want you to stay where you are. He has an upgrade for you as you turn your back to your complaining ways. It’s imperative to know God’s perception of us: God loves us and He wants the best for us. When our minds are locked with the negative pattern of complaining, Jesus can’t get His message across. Change happens when we give God the keys to our minds. Change is permanent when we grant Jesus full access to our thought life. Now, that’s a challenge worth taking! 


3. Maintenance. The words of Romans 12:1-2 imply that this mind renewal process is lifelong. To make it simple, you keep in touch with God. You learn what God thinks about you. How do we do that? Thorugh Bible reading, prayer, Biblical meditation, worship, Christian counseling, etc. To be completely honest with you, this is not easy but it is so worth it. 


During this 40-day journey you and I will still hear wrong thought patterns knocking on the door of your mind. I challenge you to find out what God thinks about the situation you are facing and quickly agree with Him. Maintenance, in my opinion, is a way to affirm the freedom we have in Jesus.


I want to end with a quote that reminds me of why I need to give God access to my thought life:

Watch your Thoughts, for they become Words.

Watch your Words, for they become Actions.

Watch your Actions, for they become Habits.

Watch your Habits, for they become your Character.
Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny.”


Lord, I recognize I have a problem with complaining. I repent from complaining as a habit. Please help me to use my thought life in a way that pleases you. I submit my thoughts to you.  Renew my mind so I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 


Reflect and Respond

• How much value do you place in your thought life?

• What are the negative thoughts in your mind God wants to replace with His truth?