Challenge 4 – Do It. Change It.

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

I’ve heard this quote said a time or two before and I guess I never really thought much of it more than to think that it was “nice.” Probably because it was attached to a recycling article or a debt-free financial advertisement. But I recently came across it again and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how profoundly wonderful this statement is.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~ Ephesians 4:22-24

It’s no secret that how we view our circumstances shapes how we respond to them. And when we decide to change our thoughts and thereby our attitudes, it takes proactive actions on our part to actually see a change in our world.

The day I changed my thoughts about my infertility was the day I started writing the devotionals in this blog.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

There are countless times in our lives when we have the opportunity to proactively work to change our world. Sometimes it takes rising above simply thinking happy thoughts or allowing our negative thoughts to settle into apathetic actions, thinking that’s good enough.

I once had a co-worker that we all felt went out of her way to make our lives miserable.  It got to the point where she was the sole reason for a lot of the problems in the office. Some days the shroud of bitterness and animosity that hung in the air was unbearable.

It had to stop.

I began praying for her and I began praying about my attitude toward her. I made a conscious effort not to join in conversations when others were complaining about her and felt pretty good about myself for it. However, my lack of response to my fellow co-workers wasn’t taken as a positive change, but rather an attitude of apathy towards her on my part. Even though I’d decided to change MY thoughts about her, it didn’t do any good to anyone else, or to her for that matter.

So, I started interacting with her more than I ever had before (because I had previously avoided interacting with her). I asked her opinion on things and I told others about her ideas and about her help on things, or mentioned something funny she might have said. One week I’d noticed she’d had a particularly stressful few days so I left a flower on her desk with a note saying I knew this had been a tough week and I hoped she had a nice weekend. Slowly, a few of my friends began changing their attitudes toward her too. It turned out she was a very fun loving and sincere person. Certain events had occurred over the years that slowly hardened her heart toward co-workers in general. New co-workers would show up and be told by current co-workers what a horrible person she was, so naturally they treated her that way and she responded in kind. The old vicious cycle routine.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~ Romans 12:2

It wasn’t long before the entire feel of the office went from heavy and sneerful to light and almost cheerful (almost…it was still work). I’m not taking credit for the overall change in atmospheric attitude, but I do believe that my intentional actions to improve my relations with her did a lot to influence others in the office and her reactions to them as well.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8

When you see a part of your world that needs to change, pray about it, change your thoughts, change your attitude, then change your world.

Do it. Be proactive. Be a solution.

Challenge 4 – Change your thoughts, and you change your world.

Part 1 – Is for me. God has placed it on my heart to start a bible study in my community for women struggling with infertility. I have met and interacted with more and more women who are bitter, who are angry and who need someone to offer understanding – women who need to find comfort in God and hope in the plan that God has for them. It’s time for me to stop being afraid of failure, and to start being pro-active in my community. Over the next two weeks, I am pledging to make contacts and arrange my first bible study.

Part 2 – Is for YOU. I challenge you to proactively seek something in your life that you need to change your attitude about. Change your thoughts and change your world. Whether it’s breaking the ice with a new co-worker, making amends with an estranged friend, facing a difficult obstacle in your life, starting a support group, or finding common ground with your spouse. If there is something in your life that is out of control, acknowledge it, change your thoughts about it and change it.

And…tell me about it.

I want to hear what you have done to change your world. Everyone who comments over the next two weeks will be entered in a drawing to win this bracelet! Either leave a comment on this post, or submit your story here.

Now go forth and Change Your World!!!

Learn more about the Challenge.

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3 Responses to “Challenge 4 – Do It. Change It.”

  1. Carrie-Anne
    I love this please copy and paste it on your mansion blog at Feeling God. We really need this.
    Smooches
    RevLa

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Twenty-Six/Two Week Challenge Project | twoweekworship - July 26, 2011

    […] July 26, 2011 – Challenge 4: Do It. Change It. […]

  2. And the Winner is….. | twoweekworship - August 9, 2011

    […] to my first give-away winner, Toni from Texas! Toni submitted a comment on my Challenge 4 – Do It. Change It.  post and was entered along with several more of you to win this “Change your thoughts, […]

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