"Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." 2 Peter 3:1-2
I thought this was an interesting choice of words here in these verses this morning. Wholesome thinking. It made me really think on it and wonder how many of us really could say that our thoughts are wholesome. It made me think of myself- I know my thoughts are not always wholesome. But what does this really mean?
Wholesome means "promoting health or well-being of the body." Huh. I had an experience with this just the other day.
Earlier this week I had an evening where I was having company for dinner. I had woken up that day feeling like I didn't quite get enough sleep, and while we finished school quickly enough, it just seemed to me like all day I was half a step behind. After lunch time I sat down to just take a break and have a cup of tea when I began to take an inventory- and I didn't like what I found. I felt run down, my throat had a scratchy feeling, and I also was feeling like I was congested in my chest. I identified that perhaps, I might be coming down with a cold or something. I thought about this friend coming for dinner and wondered if I should call and reschedule- but I knew she was preparing dinner and who knew how far ahead she was going to make it. I so seldom have company over that I really hated the idea of rescheduling.
So you know what I did?
I refused to accept any of those symptoms as symptoms of anything. I enjoyed my cup of tea, and then I set about doing some housework. I put on my internal CD player and started rolling a few praise songs through my head, and started thinking on good things. I thought about enjoying time with my friend, and I thought about the fact that I was not coming down with something. I didn't want to skip church mid-week, and quite honestly, I just wasn't having it! I thought positive thoughts- that I was just a touch dehydrated, so I drank more tea and took a multivitamin for an added boost. I spent time thanking God for good health this winter- and I told myself over and over that I walk in divine health. That I am a citizen of heaven and not of this earth, so earthly disease cannot hurt me.
Do you know what happened?
By the time my friend arrived, I had forgotten that I was "coming down" with something. I felt perfectly fine when she got here, and I was able to enjoy our evening together. Just like that- I tell you- I used the idea of wholesome thinking to banish a cold from my body. Zander also had been feeling not right. When I tucked him into bed that night he confessed to me that he had a scratchy throat. I told him that sore throats and yuckiness was not allowed and that Jesus would take it away. When I went to bed that night, I continued those thoughts, and I prayed for my son, and declared that sickness was not welcome in this house. The next morning he asked if we could pray for his scratchy throat to go away- so we did that very thing. Ten minutes later he came up to me with great big eyes- telling me that his sore throat was gone! He was so excited- and told me that he didn't think the prayer would work so fast! Praise God! After that he was back to his old self and felt fine the rest of the day.
Here is what standard procedure used to be for me when someone came down with something. Have you heard of WebMD? Yeah... I can't tell you how many times I've gone on there and diagnosed myself or my family with something awful. In the past, two of us would have had a scratchy throat, and I'd look at associated symptoms and put together a diagnosis of strep throat because some of the symptoms fit. Then I would walk around declaring that to everyone. You know how that goes- a child is sick and every time you bump into someone you repeat "I think my child has strep throat". The person commiserates with you- tells you how they had it a few months ago, and you walk away, convinced your family has strep throat. This repeats itself over and over. With good intentions, you ask people for prayer, telling them your child has strep throat.
The thing is- the more you tell yourself that you or your child have strep throat- the more you speak that thing aloud- the more permission you're giving the world to actually put that disease in your household. So by the time you get to the doctor and do the tests, of course there is going to be strep throat in your family- you've spoken it into being- whether you meant to or not. It's the principle of blessings and curses. Jesus spoke to a fig tree and it withered and died. So when you speak to your body and tell yourself it is sick- it's going to listen! When you feel that warm forehead on your child and you tell yourself or your spouse that you think your child is coming down with something- you're giving that idea voice and speaking it into being. And most of us do this absentmindedly- or we do it with good intentions- wanting prayer for our afflictions. And there's nothing wrong with that.
But I have to tell you- by focusing on this idea of wholesome thinking- it can really make a difference! Instead, when you feel that warm forehead on a child- speak blessings and wellness. Force yourself to think positively. I am proof positive that it is working in my body. And I think I've always been like that. Growing up, I could count on the calendar when I was going to get sick and come down with something. If a certain period of time passed and I hadn't been sick, I would look to myself and say, huh, it must be about time for a cold or flu- and of course I would get it. Because of that, I always thought of myself as someone who gets sick easily. That of course, translated to so much more. I would be around someone with a cold, and immediately think to myself that I would catch that cold- so you know of course that I did. A change of thought process has literally kept me sickness free for a while now. Last year, for the first time in forever, I spent the entire year without seasonal allergies. Not because of anything I took or ate- but because I keep telling myself that I have perfect health. Every time I have begun to even think I might be coming down with something- I start telling myself how healthy I am. I start thinking about how I never get sick and have divine health because Jesus died for me to have it.
And I claim that for my children and my husband as well. We do walk in divine health- Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we could spend an eternity in heaven. When I accepted Jesus as my savior, my citizenship was approved. I became a citizen of heaven -and all that that entails- including the right to divine health.
Wholesome thinking truly makes a difference.