Saturday, September 23, 2017

I Declare

by Sylvia Gaston

To declare is to say something in a solemn and emphatic manner. In order words, say it forcibly and clearly.

When I think about the things that I typically say forcibly and clearly, it generally comes down to this…

·      stuff I declare to my kids

·      stuff I declare at work

·      stuff I am passionate about

Last year, I came across the concept of starting each day with a verbal declaration of what you know to be true and declare over your life. This caught my attention and I haven’t been able to let go of the concept.

I am a firm believer that our thoughts shape our words, and our words shape our actions. If I’m honest, I must admit that I tend to fall into the camp of pessimism – you know, the glass is half empty kind of person. I always pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.

I’ve always been jealous of the people who just ooze joy. They seem to have the brightest outlook on life and they seem genuinely happy. Hey, I want that! I know that God wants that for me, too! The Bible says it this way…”I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” –John 10:10

Many years ago, I read a book that summed it up nicely. “Battlefield of the Mind”, written by Joyce Meyer, is an excellent read and a powerful resource in winning the battle that takes place within our own brains. Joyce is a great speaker and author. She also loves Christ. But this book stands on its own merit – for Christians and non-Christians alike.

The book assumes that positive minds produce positive lives. Well, who doesn’t want that?  There are steps we can take, and obstacles we may have to overcome, to win these mental battles that take place daily.

In a nutshell, a couple of the steps include: realizing that change happens a little at a time so we can’t give up, and we need to regularly think about what we’re thinking.

Some of the obstacles to becoming a more positive person may be: a wandering mind, a confused mind, a doubtful mind, an anxious or worried mind.

Having admitted to myself that I can be a little negative by nature (or a lot), I’ve learned that my thoughts have a tremendous impact on how I walk through life. I can think myself into a funk that sets the tone for my day and my interaction with others. Not good. I also believe that the mind is where evil imaginations begin.

If that’s the case, it stands to reason that I should be able to do the opposite as well. If I think positive thoughts and declare things I know to be true, I should be able to set myself up for positive days and positive interactions with others, right?

So, for the last several months, I have been mentally honing my Personal Declaration. I am committed to finishing it this month and I’m very close.

At first, I didn’t know where to start. So I prayed about it and God revealed to me that I needed to begin with what I know to be true. I began to list the following:

1.     things I know to be true about God

2.     things I know to be true about myself

3.     things I know to be true about others (because I do life with “others”)

The list is long. I’m in the process now of making it manageable to state each day and I’m sure I’ll eventually memorize it. I also know that it will change and evolve as I change and evolve.

My vision is that I will declare truths on a daily basis and set the tone for a more positive and productive day -- a day that I enjoy and that positively impacts those around me. I think that’s a pretty awesome and worthwhile vision.

I challenge you to begin crafting a Personal Declaration for you and your life. I can already see the beginnings of change happening in me.

I want to have a positive life and that begins with positive thoughts. I remember what the apostle Paul says about the importance and responsibility of guarding our mind.

“We capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

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