Integrity {thoughts}

This past weekend I went to a ladies' retreat at my church. The speaker was a phenomenal woman from South Dakota named Elvira Nickle. She shared with us how to live lives of integrity, I learned so much that I asked her if I could share my notes from her lessons on my blog. She said of course, so here we go! There were four sessions, so I will try to add one a week for the next four weeks. Session 1: Integrity in our thoughts

Be Intentional

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ - 2 Corinthians 10:5

Having integrity in our thoughts isn't just going to happen to us, we have to take every thought captive. How do we do this?

{1} Don't have a divided mind

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7

THINK What does Jesus want me to think about today instead of worry?

{2} Think about the right things

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever, is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:8

It doesn't get  much clearer than that! Still, we have to purpose to think this way. Here is an example... you are having a discussion with your husband and you think he is wrong. Your natural sinful inclination may be to argue, or cut down, or manipulate, or get defensive. Instead, THINK How can I help my husband's faith increase? How can I say this in a loving way?

{3} Don't lean on your own understanding

if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.   - Proverbs 2:4-6

We often are tempted to figure things out for ourselves. Do we trust God to give us wisdom and knowledge? Where do we seek for these things? In the word of God alone.

{4} How do you think about God?

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exalt over you with loud singing. - Zephaniah 3:17

Elvira shared that the word save here means change. Thank God that he is mighty to change our thoughts! I know I need him to.

Unchecked thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions become habits. May our thought lives be honoring to God so by his grace the rest of our lives will follow.

The lessons from this weekend were aimed at women who have been saved by the grace of God through faith in his son, Jesus. Without Christ, these points will merely modify your behavior. What we all need is a heart change through the saving blood of Christ. If you would like more information on grace and salvation, please visit here.

Love always

Elizabeth Ann