How You Think Makes a Difference

June 25, 2024

A compilation

Audio length: 9:39
Download Audio (8.8MB)

Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.—Proverbs 4:23


The beautiful, well-versed 83-year-old lady, fully dressed every morning at 8:00 a.m. sharp, with her hair done in fashion and perfectly applied makeup, is moving to a retirement home. Her husband recently died, which motivated her move.

After many hours of patiently waiting in the hall of the home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she moved her walker toward the elevator, she was given a detailed description of her small room, including the curtains hanging from her window.

“I love it,” she said, with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old girl who was just handed a new pet.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.”

“That doesn’t matter,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide over time. Whether or not I like my room doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it depends on how I arrange my mind.

“I’ve already decided that I like it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have the choice; I can spend the day in bed, going through the difficulty I have with my body parts that don’t work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the parts that do work.”—Author unknown


To enjoy My Presence more fully, you need to think less and less about yourself. This is not an arbitrary demand; it’s the secret to living more abundantly. Self-forgetfulness is a delightful way to live!

Try to become aware of how much time you spend thinking about yourself. Take a look at your mind’s contents. Though your thoughts are not visible to other people unless you choose to share them, I see each and every one. When you realize your thinking is unworthy of Me, make every effort to change the subject. If you’re struggling with a self-centered idea that recurs again and again, try connecting it to a favorite scripture or a brief prayer. This forms a bridge for your attention—away from yourself and toward Me. For example, praying, “I love You, Lord” can quickly direct your focus to Me.

If you have to repeat this process many times, don’t be discouraged. You are training your mind to seek My face, and this endeavor is pleasing to Me. Seek Me, beloved, and live abundantly.—Jesus1


God is far more interested in changing your mind than changing your circumstances. 

We want God to take away all of our problems, pain, sorrow, and suffering. But God wants to work on us first. Transformation won’t happen in your life until you renew your mind and your thoughts begin to change. 

Your thoughts are powerful. They have tremendous ability to shape your life for good or for bad. For example, maybe you believed the lie someone told you about yourself when you were growing up: “You’re worthless. You don’t matter.” If you accepted that thought, even though it wasn’t true, it shaped your life. 

The way to be careful with your thoughts is to examine them, because some thoughts are good, but others aren’t. Careless thoughts lead to a careless life. 

This is one reason you get mentally fatigued: There’s a battle going on in your brain 24 hours a day. Satan is trying to neutralize your mind—your greatest asset in this battle. He wants you focused on negative and destructive thoughts that will distract you from God’s love and goodness. The struggle can be debilitating. 

Your thoughts determine your feelings, and your feelings determine your actions. To change your life, change your thoughts. 

How can you be careful with your thoughts today?—Rick Warren2


In a story from Native American folklore, a grandfather explains to his young grandson the inner struggle between good and evil.

“A battle goes on inside us all,” the grandfather begins. “It is a battle between two wolves. One wolf is the embodiment of everything evil, like hate, anger, jealousy, resentment, greed, arrogance, lying, and selfishness. The other wolf is the embodiment of everything good, like love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, compassion, truth, and faith.”

The grandson thinks about those words and then asks, “Which wolf wins?”

The grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”

Apply that lesson to discouragement and depression and their antitheses, positiveness and praise—and you’ve got the key to a happier, more upbeat, and more successful you.

Discouragement is like a wolf pup. Feed it, and it will grow into depression—a fierce, ravenous, full-grown wolf that will turn on you every chance it gets. But feed its counterpart and you will have a strong and sure defender against such attacks.

How can you tell these two wolves apart so you’ll know which to feed? Whenever you have a thought that causes you to feel discontent, bitter, unhappy, or critical, you can be sure it’s the wrong wolf, stalking his prey. Don’t be his next meal! Feed the other one instead by filling your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening, and faith-building thoughts.

You may not be able to stop the evil wolf from coming around, but if you’re smart you won’t wait till he does to start feeding the good wolf. And remember, the more you feed the good wolf, the stronger he will grow. Feed him every chance you get, and the evil wolf will be no match for him. When it comes to a showdown, the evil wolf will turn tail and run every time.—Keith Phillips


Our thoughts can create and destroy, heal and harm, lift you up and tear you down. At any given moment in time, our thoughts are either fueling a positive momentum for our life, or keeping us stagnant, or sabotaging us.

As a result, our minds are the best tools we have for shaping and controlling how we feel about life and driving us to take the actions we want to take—or stop taking the actions that don’t serve us. Ponder the following quotes:

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.” Henry Ford

“Change your thoughts and you can change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale

“A positive mind finds opportunity in everything. A negative mind finds fault in everything.” Unknown

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” James Allen

“Thoughts have power... And you can make your world or break it by your own thinking.” Susan L. Taylor

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

“You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius.

—Gemma Kate3

Published on Anchor June 2024. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.

1 Sarah Young, Jesus Always (Thomas Nelson, 2017).



Copyright © 2024 The Family International