Did you know you’re not born with beliefs?
You build beliefs through the repetition of thoughts you permit and entertain in your mind. Do you know you’re not born with attitudes? You acquire attitudes through the remembering and reinforcement of emotions you associated with an object or event. Repeated often enough, you form strong neural pathways in the brain that cause you to default or automatically think and react without conscious intent. This habit of thinking becomes the master of your mind – whether it’s healthy for you or harmful to you.
In this four-part series, we’ll examine four distinct masters of your mind that color your perspective, influence your perception, and direct your thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, lifestyle, and destiny.
In part one, I introduce you to the first master – the Whiner. The Whiner causes people to constantly look over their shoulder at life behind them. Its goal is to enslave you to the past, harboring emotion-laden memories of lack, failure, and offense. The Whiner accumulates and articulates complaints over what’s not there, what’s not right, and what will go wrong again until hope or confidence is eroded. The Whiner uses comparison with others as its tool to validate just how uneven, unfair, or unattainable life is, has been, or can be. Its objective is to stunt its victim’s growth and destiny calling by envisioning defeat, disappointment, or disaster before the journey has even begun.
When disappointment strikes, the Whiner universalizes the situation into all areas of its captive’s life. Rather than isolate the occurrence as a one-time, short-term event, the Whiner creates a pervasive worldview that life and God are not good or not fair, and this is just one more evidence of that fact.
The Whiner seizes opportunity and establishes its foothold when severe or tragic experiences occur, particularly during the years of early developmental thinking. If adults were not emotionally, physically, or spiritually present to help a young one process disturbing events properly, he or she can easily interpret the world as harsh and themselves as bad or inadequate.
The Whiner is persistent and exhausting, but it can be disarmed, disengaged, and defeated by four formidable foes – Hope, Vision, Purpose and Gratitude. To weaken the Whiner, you must be willing and conscious to take every thought captive, release the weight of past offenses, and begin to focus on what’s present, what’s positive, and what’s possible. When the Whiner tries to taunt, the Word of God is your best defense. Reject the whispers of the Whiner. Think as God thinks. Speak as God speaks.
The Whiner encourages you to drag the weight of your past into your future, picking up every offense along the way until the load becomes unbearable. The mounting burden creates a downward spiral of thinking that goes from helplessness to worthlessness to powerless to hopelessness. Without hope, despair and death eventually set in, whether it be psychological, spiritual, or physical.
Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” How positive and powerful is that! The very essence of God is Hope, and you and I are made in His image and likeness. We were designed to be Hope-bearers – focusing on what can be, not on what has been; focusing on the solutions yet to be seen rather than the problems we currently hold.
Ephesians 1:18 – “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you.” Not only are you spiritually, mentally, and physiologically designed to hope, it’s God’s calling for you. He expects you to be the master of your own mind, war against the whining lies of defeat and unworthiness, and entertain the reality of positive expectancy – even in the midst of challenging and disappointing times.
Philippians 3:13-14 – “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Christ in you [is] the hope of glory – Colossians 1:27. When your focus is turned to the God of hope and your heart is set on Christ in you, you turn from impossible to “all things are possible in Christ Jesus” – Mark 9:23.
While Hope shifts attention forward toward positive expectation, Vision provides the picture of what it is you’re heading toward. It constrains the Whiner because Vision gives clarity, drive, energy, creativity, and motivation to move forward. Vision weakens the Whiner’s comparison crutch because you’re no longer focused on other people; your eyes are set on the prize set before you.
“I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:14
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18.
You and I were made to be vision seekers and destiny makers. In fact, among all created things, human beings have the unique capacity to plan, forecast, evaluate and decide. These are godly traits to enable you to do God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. And God is faithful to give insight and revelation to know His will and see His movement in the world. When your Vision is strong, the Whiner is withered to nothing more than a mere distraction or momentary glance.
Bad things happen in this fallen world, and the Whiner’s work is for you to ruminate over them again and again. But studies show that individuals who find Purpose in hardship heal faster, grow optimism, and develop deeper courage and resolve.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 5:3-5 – “We know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope doesn’t put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Jeremiah 29: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Nothing silences the voice of the Whiner faster and better than expressing thankfulness. Developing an attitude of gratitude is a conscious choice and habit of the heart. Make it a practice to wake each morning and go to bed each night declaring all the ways God blessed and sustained you throughout the day. The more you acknowledge life’s blessings, the more abundantly they grow. A grateful heart wars against the Whiner and breaks the bondage of negativity it feeds upon.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 107:1 – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Colossians 2:6-7 – “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Focusing ahead with Hope; creating a clear and compelling Vision, living with Purpose on purpose, and developing an attitude of Gratitude takes conscious intention and constant attention. With commitment and dedication, you can lock the Whiner in the past, never looking back over your shoulder. By choosing the joy of the Lord as your strength – even in the midst of turmoil and tormenting times – you will find you have mastered the Whiner rather than the Whiner mastering you.
Written by Doreen Lecheler, Founder DESTINYMakers.org