It takes work to keep our thinking where it should be. A lot of work and most of us don’t like this kind of work. It’s easier to plod through life not thinking about our thinking. It’s almost as if thinking about our thinking hurts our brain.
The truth is thinking about our thinking with the purpose of being deliberate uses up a heck of a lot of energy; caloric energy. Our brain is quite a greedy organ and just like going for a run, or riding a bike, our brain burns alot of calories, but our brain doesn’t like to do this.
While our brain is greedy it would also seem very lazy. So much of life is lived through routine and habit that we can go all day living, breathing, and working, mindlessly–without thinking. Have you ever driven home from work only to get out of your car and not remember much of the drive? The drive has become so routine you do it without thinking.
Our brain has a great big job to do and it will work hard to quickly develop habit and routine around as much of our life as possible because this is an efficient way to get things done while conserving energy. Habit and routine require little think time and therefore little energy expenditure, and our brain being such a conservationist, likes it this way.
So while our brain would seem lazy, it is in fact very efficient.
Once created, habits are reinforced because the brain is unwilling to work hard to build a new habit. It wants to stick with the established habit because life is easier this way. This is why it’s hard to change habits. It’s true, old habits die hard. This is why we have a hard time changing our thinking. Firstly, it’s hard to recognize negative and faith-squelching thinking habits because so much of what we do is performed mindlessly, via routine, we are not thinking about it. We cannot recognize something we don’t think about. Second, if we recognize negative thinking, it’s easier to excuse it and set it aside. Remember, our brain wants to conserve energy, changing a habit requires work, this requires energy expenditure, our brains are great excuse makers.
Unchecked negative thinking can easily become strongholds in our mind set up against the purposes of God, and this is ruinous to our faith. We have to guard our thinking and that takes work. We are told to pull down imaginations and capture every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, 2Corinthians 10:5. To do this we have to “bump” our brain out of old lazy routines and habits and consistently stay in God’s Word to lay down healthy habits that grow our faith.
We should be deliberate about what we allow into our thinking to create the kind of habits we want.
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