You know that feeling you get when you have one thing in mind, and then you start working on that one thing and realize that your estimation was way off base? That’s how I feel trying to get the house cleaned up right now. I started by working in my daughter’s room and my original thought was that I could spend the day working off and on and get things tidied up in there. Boy was I wrong. After an hour of cleaning I looked around the room and to my horror it seemed as if I had barely made a dent!

This is a common frustration in our home and one that my wife and I battle with often, and truth be told, I lost that afternoon. I was woefully discouraged by the sight before me and doubt began to gnaw at me. Would I really be able to get things cleaned up? Would the amount of work worth it when the kids will only make a mess again when they get home? With all these thoughts running through my head I stepped away and took a break. I came back a couple of hours later with a renewed sense of hope, only to find it dashed again when after another thirty-minutes it was in much the same condition.

Stepping away again I went to tackle some of the kitchen which I knew would show the results of my labor. As I was working away and thinking about what I was going to do the thought occurred to me that I was going about things the wrong way. Not that my method of cleaning wasn’t working, but my thinking about the cleaning was false and that is what needed correction. My original mindset was that I would be able to get a lot done in a few hours and I could work my way around the house throughout the week and get things done. What I failed to understand was the size of the task and so I was discouraged by the lack of advance. Yet if I changed my thinking about the project to match reality then things wouldn’t be so bad. Instead of thinking I could get everything in one room done in a single day, I switched to the mode that I would get a little bit done, in several rooms, during the day. By taking on this mindset while the progress in a single room was smaller, the overall impact on the house as a whole was greater. Plus in those rooms that did not need as much work (such as the kitchen) the result was more immediate and provided that sense of accomplishment.

This principle of changing thought is something that we really need to apply to all areas of our life. In fact this is very important when it comes to our relationship with God; we are going to come to points in our journey in which we realize that we have been thinking or going about something the wrong way and a change is needed. When we correctly understand a new concept or idea, or when we recognize something like a sin, we need to shift our thoughts. Lets say for example that maybe we came to a new understanding of freedom in a believer’s life – Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Maybe you’ve never read that verse before, or maybe it takes on some new meaning. If we continue to act as though we are under a yoke of slavery there is a problem! But if we change our thinking and begin to live in freedom then our relationship with God has moved forward and we are being made more into the image of his son. When you come to a new understanding about God or yourself don’t continue in the old vein, change your thinking and behavior so you can continue to mature into the believer that God wants you to be.