As a Man Thinks

Think on These Things: Positive thoughts in a negative world…

The whole year our son Matthew was in first grade, he lamented about not having many friends. I talked to his teacher to see if he was adjusting well in the class. She assured me Matthew was doing fine and was well-liked. When we found out my husband’s job transfer would have us moving to another state during the summer, we decided to throw an end-of-the-school-year going away party for Matthew and invited all the boys in his class. Matthew said, “Okay, but I don’t think many will come.”

Well he was wrong. Everyone came. And not only did they come, but they brought cards and gifts. As the parents dropped the kids off, many expressed their sorrow in Matthew leaving. They said: “Tommy says Matthew is his best friend and he is heartbroken that he’s leaving.” “Billy says Matthew is the nicest kid in his class.” “Joey says Matthew is his best friend.” “Johnny likes Matthew more than anyone else in his class.”

And boy, did Matthew score in the gift department! The cards the children wrote were sweet and thoughtful. One had a picture in it and he wrote, “This is my picture so you will never forget me. I will never forget you.” Several told Matthew he was their very best friend. As Matthew reread the cards that evening he said, “I didn’t know so many of the kids really liked me.” If he had realized that sooner, he could have had a lot more fun in first grade.  

The mind is a complex mechanism and can play tricks on us, sabotaging our happiness. We think people are talking about us. We think people don’t like us. We think we are ugly. We think we are stupid. We think we are unlovable. Sometimes we see things the way we think they are, not how they really are.

This is not to say life does not have problems. There are times when we have a legitimate right to feel neglected, rejected, and subjected to unfounded ridicule. But all too often our thought process has us imputing motives and jumping to wrong conclusions over the simplest of matters, magnifying them out of proportion. Our lives become limited because we hesitate to build friendships, develop relationships, and try new adventures.

What we think about ourselves can impact our lives. If we tell ourselves we have no friends long enough, we may end up friendless. If we tell ourselves we are stupid long enough, our minds might become dull. If we tell ourselves we can’t do something, more than likely we won’t even try. Because “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7).


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

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