Your Circumstances and Thoughts Shape You
By Rick Warren
“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)
When you understand the five factors that influence your identity, you can start on the road to becoming all God created you to be. The first two factors are chemistry (how you are made) and connections (your relationships); you are a product of the way God created you and of the relationships in your life. The next two factors are your circumstances and your consciousness.
Circumstances are the things that happen to you and around you—none of which you control. You are a product of the trauma, troubles, suffering, shame, shock, pressures, and pain that have shaped your life. Perhaps even abuse has affected your identity. If you’ve ever experienced a catastrophe or a series of failures, those too have left an indelible mark on who you are.
Consciousness is how you talk to yourself. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (NCV).
Your thoughts don’t have to be true to hurt you; you just have to believe them. If you tell yourself your marriage won’t last, then it won’t. If you’re afraid you can’t do something, then you won’t. Your thoughts run your life!
If you’re like many people, your thoughts are filled with the lies you’ve heard from others. You repeat those thoughts in your head. As you let them simmer and fester, they go deeper into your consciousness and begin to shape your identity. The truth is, if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be friends with them anymore.
Though it’s true that your thoughts shape you, it’s also true that you can change the way you think. Romans 12:2 says, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (NLT).
Remember: Your circumstances may be out of your control, but God is in control of everything; your thoughts shape you, but God can help you think good thoughts.
Your circumstances and consciousness have shaped who you are up until today. But, moving forward, the way you respond to your circumstances and the thoughts you choose to believe will shape the rest of your life.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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