We Are What We Think
I was thinking about what shapes us. Isn’t it what we are thinking? We are what we think, we are not what we eat. We are shaped by what we think. Happy people are filled with good thoughts. Unhappy people, on the other hand, are filled with unhappy thoughts. What we are always thinking shapes who we are. Arrogant people will always think about other people’s faults. They will always think of how imperfect they are. Selfish people will always think about “what’s in it for me?” They always calculate. They always think about “what’s in it for me.” Negative people will always think about the dark side of everything that is happening in their lives. On the other hand, humble people will always think about the positive things of other people. Thankful people will always think about the brighter side of life. Considerate people will always think about others first, so our thinking shapes and determines who we are. Our identity. A French mathematician and philosopher said, “Our thinking determines even our existence.” He said, “I think therefore I am.” Thinking is not something you do once or twice. We always think; it follows us like a shadow. The question is not whether we think or not, but what we are thinking every moment of our lives. What we are thinking, the quality of our thinking.
Strong Minds Make Strong People
Sometimes, thinking comes to us independent of our will. All of a sudden certain thoughts captivate us and sometimes we get worried. We get anxious, and fearful thoughts sometimes attack us. All of a sudden, sometimes we get really angry because certain thoughts were triggered within us. We cannot fill our hearts with negative and dark thoughts. They will take away happiness from us. They will take away energy from us. They will make us weak.
Depending on how you think, either you become a strong person or a weak person. Good thoughts make us strong. Good thoughts make us stable and resilient. Good thoughts enable us and empower us to sail through the storms and big waves. Strong minds give you strong muscles to handle heavy weight. I believe that our faith gives us strong minds and strong thoughts.
Today Saint Paul said, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Don’t walk around looking down, depressed. Lift up your head and look above. Look up, see God and gaze on God’s power that raised Jesus from the dead. Every moment we have to stand tall, we have to look above. We have to look up. Lift your head and look up, and gaze on the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Saint Paul said in detail in the Philippians, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. These beautiful things. You gotta think about these things all the time. This shows what a strong mind looks like. A strong mind does this kind of thinking. When you don’t have strong minds, you cannot survive in this ungracious, cold world.
You have to be very strong to survive in this tough world. When I look around, a lot of people live with guilt and fear. When they live with fear and guilt, all kinds of negative thoughts will flood their souls. Worries, anxiety, lack of confidence, timidity; these things make us weak. Weak people just look around. Weak people always complain. They are weak people, not strong people. Weak people always complain. Have you then noticed weak people always blame others? They never take on their own responsibility. They never assume their own responsibility. They always blame others, either parents or friends or situations or school and all cause they always blame others. They are weak people. Weak people give up very easily. If they try a few times and it doesn’t work out, then they give up. These are weak people and these weak people are caused by weak minds, and weak minds are caused by bad thoughts: fear and anxiety and worries. All this thinking makes you weak. And when you are a weak person, you do these kinds of things.
Good Thoughts Through Discipline
Good thoughts build up strong minds and strong minds give you strength to fight against the challenges of life, but you cannot have good thoughts just because you want to. I want to have a strong mind, but it is not. It’s apart from your will. You cannot have strong thoughts or good thoughts just because you want to. Good thoughts come when your thoughts are disciplined. Only through that, good thoughts are possible. That’s what spiritual discipline is all about. We have to discipline ourselves in our minds, in our thoughts, in our thinking. It’s not just about our body. We train ourselves, but we have to train our thoughts so that our thoughts flow into good thoughts. Good thoughts should be trained and disciplined. It’s not something that you can do once or twice and get it. It is something that you have to continuously and constantly do.
So I was thinking about my own congregation. I want our congregation to be strong people. I want my congregation to have strong minds and good thoughts. I want my congregation to always be filled with happy thoughts. That’s why I started Inner Voice two years ago, in 2017, to help people to start the day with good thoughts. I didn’t start that just to give you good insight or to have a deep, profound insight. I started so that you can always start the day and the whole day with good thoughts. This was what I said in my first Inner Voice on June 1st, 2017 in Korean, the word thought is made up of two syllables: saeng and gak. ‘Saeng’ means to create and ‘Gak’ means awakening or real realization. If that is the way the Korean word is formed, the word thought in Korean has a profound meaning: create awakening.
Awakening Within Us
We all know that our thoughts influence our life in a profound way. We are formed and shaped by the thoughts we have in our minds. Thoughts are not random. There is a pathway in our thoughts. In the mountain. You see a narrow road that is created because many people have passed by in the same way. Our constant thoughts will pave a way of thinking. It is important to discipline our thoughts and make a habit of making good thoughts that will create awakening within us. My friends, don’t be tormented by your thoughts. Don’t be slaves of your own evil, negative, dark thoughts. Learn to discipline your thoughts. When you constantly think about not so good thoughts, your existence will become weakened, and weaker and weaker you will become. You’ll be very unhappy people. You’ll be people who will always complain, who will always blame others. That’s a weak life.
I want you to be strong people, but when you constantly think about good thoughts, your existence will become very strong. You’ll be forgiving. You’ll be understanding. You will be able to embrace challenges in your life. When you have good thoughts, you can do almost anything in your life. It applies to everything in life: sports, school, friendship, your work, anything. If you have strong thoughts, good thoughts and a strong mind, you’ll be able to overcome all kinds of situations in your life. Good thoughts create good character. The difference between the great people and the mediocre people is in their thoughts, what they are thinking every day. I want all of you to become great people, great leaders for our Lord, Jesus Christ.