I’m not a big fan of horror movies – unfortunately, my youngest daughter is. No, I don’t let her watch the R-rated ones, so calm down. But when she does watch horror movies, we watch them together. We recently watched a borderline B movie called The Bye Bye Man. Here is the synopsis:
Three college students rent a house instead of living in the dorm because it’s cheaper – first red flag. In a flashback, a man who lived in the house kills people on his block. As he shoots his neighbors, he continually asks if anyone spoke about "the name" which cannot be said. He also repeats the same thing over and over: "Don't say it, don't think it; don't think it, don't say it.”
If you think about or say the name “Bye Bye Man,” you would give him complete access to your mind and thoughts. He would then fill your mind with hallucinations, leading you to do unthinkable things based on those illusions. The three college students stumble onto the name etched inside a nightstand drawer. Obviously, they say it as they read it out loud and begin to ponder what it means, thus thinking it. You guessed it, Bye Bye says hello and chaos ensues, ending tragically. All of this happens based on thoughts and words.
Like it or not, although The Bye Bye Man isn’t real, our thoughts are very powerful and can be either inspiring or very dangerous to our everyday life. They may not cause physical death, but they kill our joy and destroy our peace, resulting in an anxiety-filled life.
So how do we say bye bye (see what I did there?) to those thoughts that are bent on our destruction, and regain control to having a peaceful, joy-filled life? Recapturing our thoughts begins on the battlefield of the mind.
Paul continues in his letter the foundation for us to begin the battle to win back our thoughts and overcome our anxiety. This just so happens to be your memory verse this week.
Week 2 Memory verse:
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 such things.”
Day 1: Focusing our Thoughts
Thoughts are a lot more powerful than we want to believe. Many mental disorders stem directly from how we think. If you think you’re fat all the time and you obsess over it, that can lead to anorexia or even death. When you read about all the phobias, you’ll discover that irrational fears are consuming our society. Consider poor Monday, which is actually the start of a new week – a clean slate to begin afresh. Yet Monday is instead something we dread, programmed into our minds by negative thinking.
Matshona Dhliwayo, author and philosopher says, “Never give a negative thought an inch or it will take a mile.”
We cannot control our conditions. Neither can we control the thoughts that “randomly” pop into our minds. But we can control the thoughts we choose to focus on. It’s been said, “Whatever you focus on, you will achieve.” If you drive or walk, you have seen this play out in the physical realm. You get distracted and take your eyes off where you are going, and next thing you know you are off course, crashing or tripping into some direction you never intended to go.
When we allow ourselves to be fooled into focusing on negative thoughts, they will soon begin to manifest themselves into our everyday life and our life ends up something totally different than we expected or wanted. So, we must learn to focus on the good thoughts.
Paul says it this way. Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 such things. Philippians 4:8
If we focus on wrong things, it produces fear and anxiety. When we focus on the right things, peace is produced. We must learn how to focus on the thoughts that lead us to peace. The problem is, most of us are in the habit of just letting our thoughts run wild, never recognizing that they are our thoughts and we have the right and the power to control them, not the opposite.
Put into Practice:
As we move through this week, I want you to begin to think about how you think. Yes, that is what I meant. Instead of allowing thoughts to just run wild in your mind, I want you to pause and ask the questions, “Does this thought make the list? Is it worthy of my precious time? Is this thought bringing me peace or causing me fear?”
You will need some help to begin to reprogram how you process thoughts, so start by praying and asking God to help you focus your process. We will work more on that the rest of the week. Bye bye! Have a great Monday!