Wouldn’t it be perfect, if all we had to do was just decide to think on the things Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on; whatever is true, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent.. And wah-lah, our thoughts are transformed and we’re ready to live our best lives!!
We have been trying to get our thoughts in order for decades, trying positive thinking, daily affirmations, monitoring and analysing the source of our thoughts. Unfortunately these methods last only as long as the energy you have to remember to do all of this.
As believers we don’t need to pursue insufficient sources, we HAVE JESUS WHO IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! Thank You JESUS for making us righteous.
Believing we are righteous, has a lot to do with our thoughts being correct! We have all been troubled by unruly thoughts; commanding ourselves not to think on things that disturb, upset or worry us.
It’s awfully hard to just will ourselves into thinking correctly… about everything! It may work for a short while, but it’s definitely not a lasting solution, since what you believe will always guide your thoughts.
Our thoughts are directly linked to what we believe, for instance we wouldn’t be overly concerned about safety, constantly looking over our shoulder, holding on tightly to our possessions when we believe we are in a safe environment.
Believing Jesus died for us because He loved us, that we have been forgiven and made righteous, changes the way we think and behave. Our minds are renewed and our thoughts somehow become transformed.
Righteousness means being morally correct and justifiable, free from guilt and sin.
Righteousness is the perfect holiness of Christ, the character of our Father. We don’t need to be perfect to be righteous, once we truly receive righteousness in our hearts, our thinking and behaviour follow suite.
Receive your righteousness by speaking it out. Romans 10:10 reads:
For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Saviour] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.
Declare your righteousness in Christ over yourself out of your mouth as often as you can, and say it especially in the times you feel unworthy or feel you have failed. Meditate on the many scriptures that say we are righteous.
Your thoughts will start changing before you even realize it, and you will start seeing yourself as righteous.
Up until recently, I had some very incorrect thoughts about myself, thoughts that were so personally restricting. Thoughts that I was inadequate, defective and without value. It bred a great deal of fear, doubt and self-condemnation in me, torturous at times.
Being exposed to Grace taught me the reason Christ was crucified!! So we could be forgiven, cleansed, perfected in righteousness and saved.
When we receive this righteousness of Christ and truly believe in our hearts, right thinking follows naturally – it’s a fruit, a by-product of believing and receiving. Just as a tree will naturally produce good fruit when watered and receiving its dose of sunlight, so will we produce good fruit without effort when we are watered by the Word of His Grace and exposed to the rays of God’s love.
Look at Gideon, he thought himself as the least in his family. He overcame his insecurities and fears and saved Israel from the Midianites, because he first heard and believed gracious, encouraging words from the angel of the Lord: ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour, surely I will be with you and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man’ – Judges 6:12-16. When he began to think about himself, as the Lord thought about him, he went on to fulfil his destiny.
Like Gideon, I felt small and powerless in my challenges, I didn’t believe I was righteous, I didn’t even know I was righteous. I wanted to earn it, by doing good and being good, however I always ended up exhausted and falling short and feeling defeated.
Righteousness is a gift, what do we do with a gift? We receive it as our own, knowing that it is ours completely, we don’t offer payment in exchange, or even try to earn it. A gift is lavished upon the receiver by the giver. Jesus gave of His own life to ransom yours, the gift of His righteousness.
My thoughts have come a long way since then, not just thoughts about myself, thoughts about the future, thoughts about others, thoughts on difficult times and the list goes on.
My reflex thoughts are not on the worst case scenario when something unsettling happens as it previously did. Now, there is a lightness in my thoughts, even in the worst of times. Do I still have thoughts I would rather not have? YES, I do, however I have learned to quickly say ‘I am the righteousness of God in Christ, I have the mind of Christ and all the promises of the righteous belong to me’.
You may want your incorrect thoughts to change immediately, even so be patient, give yourself the time to grow by being nourished by the Word of God and staying planted in good soil. One day you will find your thoughts being different, being peaceful and not those toxic thoughts that steal your peace. As you are washed over and over by the water of God’s grace, you will grow in sanctification and holiness and you will allow the Holy Spirit to correct habits and thinking that keep you in bondage and torment.
Ps Tara spoke Jesus’s words over me a while ago. So simple but at that time it was so timely, so fitting and so deep.
I pray these words over you on your journey as you speak in faith that you are righteous.
‘Daughter, your faith has made you whole, go in peace” Mark 5:34.