The Incredible Difference It Can Make When We Choose to Pay Attention

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I’m convinced, every single thing we think about changes us. Maybe in a beautiful way. Maybe in a distorting, damaging way.  

Maybe you’re familiar with something Paul wrote to the Corinthians about, that we should “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV) 

We really can do that. Thoughts happen, sure, but we can capture them, and then we can hold them up to the light of day, take a good look at them, and dismiss them if needed. We can say to ourselves, “Now that’s a dumb thing to think about,” or “That may not even be true,” or “I need to move on from this and think about something else.” 

This isn’t a guilt trip. It’s an exciting opportunity. If we want God’s joy in our lives, we need to pay attention to our thoughts, and choose to focus on Him. One of the most earnest and hopeful little books about this is a classic called The Practice of the Presence of God, written by Brother Lawrence: 

He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him.”  

The slightest turn; a little nod; acknowledgment of His goodness in your life. Right in the middle of everything else. It matters so much. It can make the difference between being crushed by harmful thoughts, and thriving in the joy of the Lord.

Now that I think of it, I think this is how love works. I know my wife likes it if we’re in a crowded party, or at dinner with other couples, and I look over at her. (I need to remember to do that more.)  

Or maybe when she grabs my hand as people are demanding my attention, and I enthusiastically hold hers. There’s a little glint of recognition: I know I belong to you. 

It’s small, sure. But like I said…  

It’s everything

Brant Hansen

Morning Show Host, STAR 99.1

Brant’s latest book, Unoffendable, released January 10th and is available now for purchase.

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  1. Karin Hand on January 12, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    I wrote a long post in response to this but I deleted it. You said it all.
    Worry is something we all have to give away to God and love is something we all have to give, to God and one another, no matter our station.
    Thoughts can damage or heal, sadden us or make us happy.
    Thank you for reminding me of this Brant.

    • Brant Hansen on January 13, 2023 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you, Karin!

  2. Jeannette Salvemini on January 13, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Thank you, beautiful! YES, Turn our attention to HIM!

    • Brant Hansen on January 13, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks for reading, Jeannette!

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