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Let's All Think Our Own Thoughts!
by Christine Jones

    Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me...for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these". St.Paul wrote, ' (But) when I was a child, ...I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put childish ways behind me'. Mark 10:14.1 Corinthians 13:11.

    Our thoughts have a profound effect upon us! They affect our attitudes, our actions, our words, our general mood and always, yes always, our relationships.If we can see the truth in this, then we are very wise indeed to at some stage face up to the thoughts we are thinking!

    It is easy to presume that we are thinking our own thoughts, and have our own mind and opinions, when in fact we do not at all!For many years I spent hours every day thinking what my parents had always told me to think! For a compliant child like I was, this was quite acceptable. Probably many girls, in particular, grow up passively complying to the wills of their significant grown-ups. In my culture,it is often not considered lady-like to express anger, so instead of disagreeing with our parents, many of us tend to just sit quietly and take every thing our parents tell us, and blindly accept everything we are told. (Of course there are lots of other children who do the opposite, and become rebellious, and different just to be different. I however, was not one of those.) I was a compliant, gentle little girl who wanted approval at all costs.

    This was a workable strategy for me back then, but not the healthy way to grow up. When I became a teenager, I diligently went to Church as I knew my folks would want, and I read my Bible every day, and my opinions about almost everything were THEIR opinions, and not mine! This put me in an awful spot, being bound to do what I thought they would want me to do, even when they were not there! When I married, and began shopping, I would wander around the supermarket choosing the brands of goods which 'Mum' always bought.

    Now this is quite fine for a newlywed, who is just starting out. But for me, I had been married twenty years and I was still doing it! I could almost 'feel' my mother peering over my shoulder!!I even felt guilty if I bought a product which I knew my mother did not use. I remember becoming VERY bold one day, and launching out to buy yogurt, a food my parents did not ever eat! I felt quite like a bad little girl! You may chuckle, but I must say that I was living a bound-up kind of life. I did not have an original thought in my head! If I was asked my views on any given matter, from the Vietnam War to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ or the right for women to work, I would trot out word for word almost, what I knew Dad thought, and I honestly thought I was doing the 'right' thing!

    Gradually I began to read - probably not until my children began school, and there I found a whole new world of thought! How exciting! How exhilarating! You see, because I had adopted my parents views as my own, I was not living my true reality. I was living their reality There is a big difference.I was still thinking as a child!

    I started to disagree in my mind to lots of ideas and attitudes which I had never questioned before. Do not be afraid to question! We learn when we question. My little grandson is just now at the stage of asking "Why?", about everything!!! This is good. It is healthy. It is age-appropriate. We, as his grandparents, love it because it shows to us that he is thinking about his world.He is developing an enquiring mind, and that is GOOD!

    God is just the same with us. God is our eternal loving parent, and God desires us to ask questions. We learn best when we ask. Never ask any questions and you will get lost a lot of the time! I believe this is one of the reasons that Jesus told us to be 'as little children'. He wants us to ask deep, eternal questions. Jesus desires that we ask questions for what we do not know, and seek from him the answers to every situation in life.

    I was born for me to be me, and I was born for a specific reason on to this planet. I sincerely and wholeheartedly believe this. Therefore, I am beholden to discover who I AM so that I can reach the potential God has stored up in me.I began to read, and then to study more, and then to try new things - oh, yes, and I made mistakes, I stumbled upon a few hassles here and there.I still do, and I always will. Basically though, I also discovered incredible freedom. I began to grow up mentally.

    We must also, then, accept full responsibility for our own views, attitudes and opinions. We cannot blame others for what WE CHOOSE to believe! We need to make up our own minds, using as much information as we can gather. Then it is our God given responsibility to live our own lives. We must learn to be true to ourselves. This is personal integrity. It is vital for us to thrive. Let each of us hold our heads up high and be proud of who we are and what we believe. Every single person has that same right and that same responsibility. St. Paul encourages to grow up!!!

    PRAYER: Lord, I realize that my thought patterns effect every area of my life. Therefore I have a responsibility to make sure that my thoughts are what you would have me think. I ask that you will help me in the task of growing up to full maturity in you, dear God. Help me to think with integrity of heart, and to ask for help from you, and other wise and Godly folk I know, and to read all I can, so that I can find my own reality. This can only be found in you, Oh God. I commit my mind into your care and control. Amen.

    TODAY: Read an article on 'the Web' or in a book, on a subject which is challenging you. It may be something entirely new to you, or it may have been a puzzling issue for years. Whatever it is, read something fresh this day, and think about how that new knowledge can enrich your life and help you grow as a mature person.Then ask questions!!! Someone else you know will probably be able to add another dimension, too, if you ask them.

    © Christine M. Jones
    Christine Jones is married to David. She has two adult children and precious grandchildren. She has worked for many years as a school teacher/librarian, and written children's material for several years in her 'spare time'. She loves nature, music and the theatre.

    John Mark Ministries
    drcmjones@optusnet.com.au