John Ortberg writes, “The way you think creates your attitudes; the way you think shapes your emotions; the way you think governs your behavior; the way you think deeply influences your immune system and vulnerability to illness. Everything about you flows out of the way you think.”
This quote has become a personal favorite. It constantly reminds me that our thoughts matter. They ultimately shape who we become and determine our destiny so we’d better make sure they’re aligned with Truth. Doing so is the key to lasting change.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
Today marks the sixth anniversary of the beginning of my wellness journey. I’ll never forget the searing pain when my left Achilles tendon ruptured moments after I stepped out of my car to attend a meeting. Kaboom! My husband rushed me to the ER where I waited for nearly five hours, trying to hold my foot in one position while holding back my tears.
The pain was intense. It nearly equaled the pain of admitting it was self-inflicted. For several years prior, I’d made excuses for why I couldn’t exercise. The biggest was, “I’m writing. I’m on a creative roll. I’ll finish this article and exercise later.”
Lack of movement and stretching stiffened my muscles and tendons and contributed to weight gain. I excused my sedentary lifestyle with, “Exercise hurts too much.” Gluttony and snacking on chips and chocolate (in secret, nonetheless) added to my problems.
A week after the Achilles injury, my opposite knee developed issues of its own. That led to physiotherapy twice a week (big owie), surgery, and loss of mobility. Three months passed before I was able to walk again, and then shingles struck. I was a physical wreck, to put it lightly.
I am beyond grateful to First Place for Health for helping me identify wrong thinking and turn me around. Now I acknowledge gluttony as sin, and I readily admit my need for God’s help to guard me from it.
I also acknowledge my need for accountability. I can’t possibly travel this lifelong wellness journey on my own. I need others to help me, to encourage me, and to pick me up when I fall.
I recognize my body as God’s temple. He’s entrusted me with its stewardship. No one else can care for it—that’s my job. Do I want to provide Him with a dwelling fit for a King, or offer Him a rundown shack?
The change in thinking has changed my life for good. My weight has dropped. My blood pressure and heart rate are excellent, and I feel better than I’ve felt in twenty years. It’s also impacted me in other areas of my life—mental, emotional, and spiritual.
So today is a celebration of sorts for me. I now hold in my hand the newly released Bible study Forever Changed. Based on Romans 12:2, it identifies areas in which we often fall prey to faulty thinking and then explores the corresponding truth of God’s Word. Changing my thoughts has changed my life, and I pray that countless others will find the same outcome in every part of who they are.
Watch the webinar “Forever Changed” here.
Order your copy of Forever Changed.