The Coke Bottle Analogy

 What is pictured in the photo below?

An empty coke bottle. What is in this bottle currently? Air is. How do we get the air out? No, we don’t just put the cap on, we don’t blow into it, and we don’t smash it either. What we need to do is replace air; the gaseous substance, with a solid or a liquid.

Our minds are like this empty bottle. We fill our minds every day with things an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 per day. What kind of things? The  things we feed our minds is what we will become. When we put  in negative things; even seemingly small things such as gossip, current relationship struggles, etc. profoundly impact us. We eventually become just like that stuff.

This is one area I really struggle in. Life is hard! One of my daily household chores is laundry. I dislike laundry very much! It’s such tedious work and when I think I’m done, I only have to go to the end of the day to realize there is another whole load of wash to do tomorrow. Grrr! If I were like my mom, my laundry would be a continual and reliable form of stress relief! I’ll never be like her in that, but I have found that if I pray as I fold my wash it doesn’t seem like such drudgery. “Dear God, As I fold this tablecloth may I remember to feed consistently on Your Word…” The towels and washcloths remind me of my need to be cleansed daily from sin. And the list goes on. This is part of my choosing to fill my “coke bottle” with good.

As someone who battles with depression, I’ve found that I’m definitely more depressed depending on what my mind is thinking on. This is also scientifically proven. Negative thinking  becomes one of the strongest habit patterns of the mind. Therefore negative thinking can not only maintain depression, it can also deepen the darkness. Thus the power of thoughts has pronounced effect on my emotional and physical well-being. Small things seem huge in a negative mindset. Recently I’ve had the challenge of focusing my mind on good things because I desperately was wanting to change things that I couldn’t  change. Interestingly enough, when I focused on the present and the positive and the truth it helped to release the pressure. My little girl would remind me that this is something for God to fix and not to worry! How true! It felt like God was using her to be a vessel to bring truth to me.

God’s Word is filled with Scriptures on guarding one’s mind and filling our minds with truth. Some key verses for today:

2 Corinthians 10:5

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Philippians 4:7&8

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Filling our mind with good things takes effort. In fact all things good take effort. It’s choosing to pray when you’d rather curse. It’s choosing to dance in the rain. It’s choosing to sing when you’d rather growl. It’s choosing to make lemonade when life hands you lemons. What are you going to choose today? Who do you want to be tomorrow?

Tip: If you struggle in this area, take the “Joy Dare” developed by Ann Voskamp author of “One Thousand Gifts”. It can be found on her blog at http://www.aholyexperience.com/

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