Beliefs Determine Behavior by James Ryle

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNB).

thinkerSolomon’s proverbial insight are as relevant today as ever before. “Be careful how you think,” he tells us, “your life is shaped by your thoughts.” In the New Testament we are told by the apostle Paul that our lives are transformed by the “renewing of our minds”(Romans 12:2).

In other words, beliefs determine behavior.

We are living in historic times – times that require deep conviction and decisive courage. We must not be so absorbed with self interest that we become easily offended with what we don’t understand and, thus, make rash and stupid choices. Our thoughts must become formed by truth; our opinions must become enlarged by intelligence; our words strengthened by wisdom and grace; our behavior monitored by self-restraint; and our interaction with others marked by respect and civility.

What hangs in the balance in these days of global turmoil and uncertainty could be the very welfare of our world. “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

Think truly. Decide courageously. Act nobly. Stand firmly. Live generously. And die honorably. Your life matters now more than ever, and how you think shapes your very life. And what you choose to do with your life has lasting consequences.

“Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;

Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,

And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,

Ere her cause bring fame and fortune, and ’tis prosperous to be just;

Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,

Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;

Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.”

James R. Lowell, 1845


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