“Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV
What am I keeping? What am I forgetting? These are the questions I’m learning to ask myself as I learn to tend my soul. I’ve decided I’m going to tend mine better.
It started with a question from a friend one day. She asked me what I was believing. It’s a simple question, but it got right to the epicenter of my thoughts.
- I was letting Satan frame my circumstances with lies, and I was accepting them and then believing them. I wrote this question on my bathroom mirror, because I don’t know about you but “forgetful” tends to characterize me. I know this verse in Deuteronomy is a charge Moses gave to the Israelites, but I find, to my disappointment, that I am just as forgetful as they were. I kept reading, “What are you believing?” when I brushed my teeth and when I got out of the shower…for days on end.
Do you know what happened?
I started really examining my thoughts. I am actually in charge of what gets to stay in my heart and mind. I don’t have to own every thought that pops into my head. I get to decide what I am keeping and what gets tossed.
How do I decide? What is my filter? What lens am I seeing my circumstances through? If I believe that God is in my every day, then I believe He is involved in my circumstances, big and small. If I really believe this, then it’s the lens I will use to bring my thoughts into focus. The filter I need to use is God’s goodness.
Am I keeping God’s goodness in front of my eyes so that it colors my circumstances? Or am I tending and watering disappointments until they grow into bitterness?
My brain naturally remembers failures, disappointments, and unmet expectations. It plays them over and over for me in my quiet moments. Training my brain to remember blessings can beautifully color my memory, but I have to train myself because it doesn’t come naturally to remember. I want to “train” my mind to remember God’s blessings until they are the predominant color in the landscape of my soul.
I love this translation of 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
God’s word is useful for correction and teaching in godliness; for training in righteousness. My thoughts run my person, so they need to be trained in righteousness. I need to run my thoughts through the sieve of God’s word so that anxiety and lies are sifted out and only the truth gets through instead of letting them run me raged. When things seem hazy, I am going to run to God’s word and interpret it through that lens until it becomes clear.
When I keep God’s goodness and blessing on display in my soul, it colors the way I look at the future. When I encounter a new concern, it gets reframed to match the goodness of God that I already have on display (I love when things match).
Are you re-framing things in light of God’s goodness? Or are you just accepting thoughts as they enter your head? If what you’re keeping doesn’t get filed under God’s goodness, then it doesn’t get kept. It can be re-framed or banished. You are actually in charge of your thoughts, so quit letting them boss you around.
What are some things from this last year that need new context? What needs reframed?
How can you take care to keep your soul diligently in remembrance?
Here is what I suggest; it’s pretty simple: make a list.
Write out things that need reframed and find a truth (God’s word) that reframes it.
Father, teach me to keep my soul diligently by remembering You and letting Your goodness color my old and new circumstances. God, show me where I need to reframe my failures until they reflect Your forgiveness and redemption. Show me how to look at my circumstances through the lens of eternity and what You have done to secure mine. Let it color all my thoughts. Show me how to immediately recognize a thought that doesn’t match. Help me diligently maintain the atmosphere of my heart. Let my remembrance of Your goodness color my future.