Posts Tagged ‘As a man thinketh’

To be who you want to be: pay the price

June 2, 2014

Proverbs 23--7

“What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.” This thought-provoking quote by Mignon McLaughlin brought to mind another familiar saying, “Everything has its price.” Many times we have a mental picture of ourselves as we would ideally like to be. The road to success in going from the “real” to the “ideal” can be quite arduous. It takes considerable time, energy, and effort to bring those mental pictures into reality. To achieve success in any endeavor, one must be willing to pay the price.

In the public speaking classes that I teach, I sometimes introduce the concepts of affirmation and visualization, whereby students can improve their speaking ability through using these techniques: through what they say about themselves and how they see themselves. Claude M. Bristol states, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” In addition, Paul J. Meyer says, “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!” In Mark 11:24 in the Amplified Bible, Jesus Christ boldly declares:

For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

I encourage my students to spend a few quiet minutes each day visualizing themselves as successful in speaking before the public or in whatever activity they may undertake. I also encourage myself by speaking positive affirmations and developing positive mental images of the person that I desire to become.

Many times in the morning as I rise to use the bathroom and refresh myself to start the day, I often recite a statement made by Kim Clement, as I look in the mirror and wash my hands: “I see myself somewhere in the future, and I’m looking so much better than I look right now. . .” I go on to attach this personal addendum: “But right now, I’m looking good!”

The mental picture that you carry of yourself is what you will become. The Scriptures confirm that “As a man thinks in heart so he is.” As believers we are to look into the mirror of the Word of God to see who God says we are.

The recent documentary series on “The Sixties” shown on CNN brought to mind that pivotal decade that formed the backdrop for my coming of age as a Christian believer who was impacted by The Jesus Movement. I recall the lyrics to one of the songs written and performed by the Christian rock group of that era Cookin Mama: “You can be who you want to be/when you find out who you are.” Lyrics from another song from Ted Ferrell also make known this truth:

You are what God says you are

Just believe it and you’ll go far

Don’t sit around feeling blue

You can do what God says you can do

As I reflect upon my life that continues to unfold as a scroll, I see that I am still in the process of becoming the man I have desired to be. In the midst of these most turbulent times of crisis and seemingly overwhelming circumstances, I anchor myself in the truth of God’s Word that tells me in no uncertain terms exactly who I am. In the last stanza of the poem “Be Still and Know” I refer to “the man I thought I could be.”

Be Still and Know

Psalm 46

Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.

Though your cherished dreams have faded and long since gone

The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,

As I weave the tapestry of eternity.

Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,

Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,

And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:

Be still and know that I am God.

Though storms may overwhelm and friends may abandon

When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.

These scenes will reveal the man I thought I could be,

As words of the Psalmist comfort and remind me,

When this life is over and all is said and done:

Be still and know that I am God.

 

The accompanying video by Steven Curtis Chapman is inspired by Psalm 46:10, the verse from which the title of the poem is taken.