Years ago I knew an older gentleman who would say, “Girl you can’t get anywhere in life if you’re stinking thinking.” I used to laugh at all his hilarious sayings because he was quite a character, but this particular phrase stuck with me all these years. Stinking thinking are those negative thoughts that wreak havoc on your mind. It is that nagging voice that won’t go away and will drain you from any potential joy that awaits you either in the present or in the future. If you want to be completely burned out then give into stinking thinking. Now, I know we’re human and sometimes life just sucks, right? There are some days, weeks, months and even years that we wish we could skip over because they were just darn right hard. But, stinking thinking only makes a hard situation harder!
Paul knew about stinking thinking. He may not have called it that in those terms, but I believe he knew that our thoughts have an incredible influence on our actions. In Philippians 4:8 he tells us, “Finally brother whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about those things.” What he doesn’t say is dwell in your past, think about how many times you’ve been rejected and only reflect on the negative crummy things in your life! No, he tells us to focus on what is positive and good!If we don’t it is easy to slide down the rabbit hole very quickly. Stinking thinking not only affects you it is contagious and has an impact on everyone you’re around including your kids. Here are a couple of tips to stop the ‘Stinking Thinking’:
- Pray– This is your first line of defense. Negative thoughts are straight from the enemy not from God. God knows all the good he has in store for you and he doesn’t want you to spend time listening to the enemy. As soon as a negative thought enters your head ask God to take them away. If you’re focused on talking with God you negate the dark energy and replace it with light.
- Replace the Negative Thought with a Positive Thought– If you’re thinking about how you hate your job, start thinking about what your job affords you to do, like take care of your family or live in your house. With every negative thought that creeps up combat it with good one. (Write a grateful list if you need help with this one)
- Keep Your Distance from Negative Energy Draining People– We all know those people who only see the downside to everything. They are energy drainers and they are contagious. Listen single moms, please watch out for those friends who constantly complain about their ex. It is okay to vent but there is a difference between venting and constantly complaining or being obsessed. Next thing you know you may start getting angry with your ex about things that don’t even matter anymore. The old saying misery loves company is still alive and very much true!
- Stay Present– Many times negative thoughts derive from our past. The past is the past, you can’t change it, but you can learn from it and it doesn’t have to effect your future. If you’re stuck in the past you’ll be stuck in stinking thinking. Make peace with the people or situations in your life that have hurt you and forgive yourself for your mistakes and forgive others too, so you can move on. This isn’t always quick and simple, but it is worth working towards.
- Don’t Focus on the Problem Focus on the Solution– We can mull over a problem forever, but if we focus only on the problem and not the solution nothing can be resolved. Don’t become so stuck in an issue you’re facing that it overcomes your mind and consumes you. Instead redirect your anxiety into finding a positive solution.
- Seek Goodness!– Why do we look for the bad? Instead look for the good in every situation. Sometimes you have to dig deep, but go ahead and dig!
- Guard Your Mind- The world is full of pollution (this is a kinder term for what I really think) We are bombarded with negative images, commentary and statistics at every corner. Just watching the news can make you never want to leave your home again! You have a choice in what you decide to tune into. I’m not just talking about television or radio, I’m speaking about the conversation at the water cooler or the gossiping neighbor next door, listen you don’t have to tune in! Keep your mind as holy and pure as you can and stinking thinking will get booted out.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste especially on stinking thinking. God wants our thoughts to be consumed by him and his love for us, take time every day to do that and you will be recharged and refreshed!