Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

I was having lunch with a good friend the other day.

We were talking about the many ways that we're alike (poor thing – I don't envy any resemblance to some of my foibles…just sayin')

Especially in our thought life.

We talked about how we're always having this "running dialogue" in our heads (another good friend calls it "the committee in her head") – and we're always analyzing things.

Oooo – some of my old English professors would be so proud. Remember way back in the good old days when they actually taught grammar? C’mon, it ain't that long ago…

Remember how we had to diagram sentences? Draw that line – place the subject on the line, and then put a slash, and then put the predicate (look it up if you don't remember!!). Then, there were all these little *offshoots* for adverbs and adjectives and the like.

Well, that's what I seem to do with my life.

I parse it.

OK, I'll give you a definition for that one (this is the general, not just grammar, definition):

Parse - To examine closely or subject to detailed analysis, especially by breaking up into components; To make sense of; comprehend

Yup, sounds just like what I do.

So, OK, a little self-analysis isn't entirely a bad thing. Other people run through their lives without thinking about anything they do or why they do it. That can be a trap, too!

But, here's the deal.

It's the danger of over-thinking.

Because, you see, I think the enemy is a real pro in that whole Battlefield of the Mind.

He has a lot of good tactics.

Yes, in my case, a full frontal attack is often effective. But not for long. You know why? Because I recognize it for what it is. An attack.

No, he's a (whole) lot more effective in the area of subtle subterfuge. He's very, very sneaky. And that's where he does his best (infernal) work in my life.

I'm always thinking (parsing). And I always think that what I think is coming from me. Does that make sense? My thoughts must be my thoughts because I think them, right?

However, I happen to think that there's a real Scriptural basis for the fact that Satan can wield some influence in our thought life. He can manipulate and twist and hint and turn and suggest thoughts. He can fan the flame of an errant notion, he can encourage a wayward inkling. He can lead an idea down the pathway to sin.

And, all too often, I let him.

Because I'm not on the alert.

When he comes to the door of my mind and knocks, I not only open the door – I very often invite him for a cup of coffee.

Sometimes he even gets a meal.

How ridiculous.

I don't open the real door of my house to many people. Few ever cross the threshold. So why am I so cavalier with my mind? Since when am I a full-service inn?

My friend and I had an interesting discussion about this.

And I determined that I need to be much more suspicious of my own thoughts. I need to be more diligent in what I allow myself to think. I must be aware of and vigilant over the enemy's wily ways.

Because, after all, there's really only one person knocking on my door that I care about. There's only one person that I desire to invite in. Only one person that I really want to move in, and dwell in my mind.

The Lord.

May He help me hold my errant thoughts captive – and stop them at the threshold before they sit down and make themselves at home.

I need to turn that "Open for Business" sign over…

Sorry.

"CLOSED TODAY"


How do you grapple with the errant thoughts in your mind?


Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God"

12 comments:

  1. "When he comes to the door of my mind and knocks, I not only open the door – I very often invite him for a cup of coffee."

    That was an excellent way to put it, and I do the exact same thing. I couldn't agree more that the more we "overthink" the more prone we are to errant thinking.

    I have been thinking lately (ooops... there I go again!) that too much alone time is as much the Devil's playground as too much idle time. We can be busy but ALONE and that stinking thinking of ours messes with us in a big way.

    As much as I love certain (ahem) invisible friends, there is no substitute for flesh and blood fellowship to keep the mind from playing its tricks on us.

    So... when can you get here? I have coffee, and I like to diagram sentences for fun.

    I really liked this post.

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    1. You/start (subject-predicate) the (article) percolator (noun)...I'll be there this afternoon!!

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  2. Enjoyed this post my friend.

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  3. Oh Sharon, you could have just as well been describing me my friend. I had an episode just the morning of leaving the door of mind wide open.

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  4. Hi Sharon,

    Very true, thought provoking words. The phrase comes to mind, when you know the devil is knocking on the door, send Jesus to answer it for you.

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  5. Good post today - as usual. sandie

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  6. I loved diagraming sentences, LOL, and you are right, Sharon, they sure don't teach grammar these days! I think we all need to get a closed sign for our thoughts that come from the enemy and an opened one for the thoughts of God; maybe that's why it is good to memorize Scripture, to fill our minds with words of encouragement and words of hope and praise and love rather than what the enemy wants to spew on us.

    betty

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  7. Hello! Remember me? I thought I'd stop by and visit, since I've not been by for a long time, and maybe you've forgotten me? So glad I stopped by today! This post hits the nail on the head (I can get caught up in analysis paralysis!) and it was an encouragement for me. So, how are you doing? The last three months I've spent less time blogging, and concentrated my time on two "houses"--my actual home and the temple of the Holy Spirit, my body--and I am still working away, taking my thoughts captive, and maintaining momentum:) Every once in awhile I read a blog post or visit an old friend, like today. I've missed you! Hope you're doing well. Lots of Love, Wendy

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  8. Oh my goodness, yes. This is me and I have been reading Joyce Myer's book, The Battlefield of the Mind lately....I try to take my thoughts captive, and ask the HOly Spirit to fill me with the promises of God.

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  9. Oooo - over analyze things? Yep. That's me. And I have been trying to lighten up for years. I can be just so black and white about some things - and other things I just float along. Feeling like I'm in the middle of one of those mind battlefields lately. Coming to a close in my job - and that perhaps sooner than expected in June. Feeling like a shuttlecock batted back and forth - the mind games. And my analysis concludes that I am a great failure and the Lord is greatly disappointed in me - I am my own enemy in advancing His purposes in my life. So - the "committee" is divided. Half is quoting encouraging scripture and the other half is wagging a finger at me and relegating me to the bench - stripped of everything. So . . . migraines ensue. A good word here, milady. I shall bolster myself for another blow and carry on.

    Hoping you are knowing His healing and health . . .

    Joy in the journey . . .
    Kathy

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  10. LOVED your post- so did the "committee"!!

    Most of all- love you!!!

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  11. Absolutely I believe Satan toys with our minds, hence Paul's instructions from Romans, "Be not conformed to the image of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds...

    And I'm guilty, like Debbie said, of inviting him in for a cup of coffee - actually I've offered a few five course dinners.

    Oh, and by the way, I loved diagramming sentences. :)

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)