Romans 7:15-17 – I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to—what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can’t help myself because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things.

Gratitude Day 764

Human beings have this amazing muscle called a brain. It is what makes us unique and different.

Our brains help us feel emotion, when to run away from something that could hurt us and grants us the capacity to love God, ourselves and others. This 8 lb. mass allows our senses to work at least some of the time, gain knowledge and wisdom and make decisions that can be life-changing. The brain is wonderfully designed to grow in capacity and expand more than we can ever imagine.

And a whole bunch of other things.

As wonderful as our brains are, there are also some frustrating aspects of all the potential our minds have. Why do we keep doing things that hurt others and ourselves? How come do we allow ourselves to make the same silly mistakes over and over and over? Why can’t we slow down the negative progression of mind retention that happens later in life?

And a whole bunch of other things.

There are days my mind amazes me. I can be creative or thoughtful or kind. I find myself expressing gratitude for the ability to process, think and make choices. On other days, I get frustrated because I cannot remember someone’s name. Where I put something. Why my emotions get the best of me, and I lose perspective.

Somedays, I seem to be talk myself through things and get to a place where I am good. Then, there are the days when the negative thoughts just keep on rolling through my mind. I question my abilities, my skills, my lack of focus.

And a whole bunch of other things.

Often, we hear these buzz words: mindfulness, thought process, control your mind. These phrases sound great and helpful and really have good intentions. Yet, day after day, my mind lets me down. It does not follow through. It stops me before I get just where I want to be.

And a whole bunch of other things.

Some days, my brain can be so incredibly positive! You’re on the right track, Dianne! Keep it up! You go, girl!

The next day, those negative thoughts surround my very being. Really? Come on, you know better! It’s too hard.

Every time I strap my running shoes on, I have a mental gymnastics exercise with myself. I go between, “You got this!” to “This is too hard;” sometimes within a 30-second timeframe.

As believers, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things right. Make good choices. Rise above challenges. Sometimes I can. Other days, not so much.

In one of his letters, the Apostle Paul, an early Christian leader, writes about his challenges as a fellow believer. He is brutally honest when he shares that he knows what to do but still makes the wrong choice. Likewise, the good things he wants to do? He avoids doing.

Paul calls this sin. And yes, this is what it is. Something that separates us from God, others and even ourselves. Ways that we do not fully love our Heavenly Father as well as others.

Our brains have something like 50,000 thoughts per day! Seriously. That is a whole bunch of thoughts per second. Interestingly, 70 to 80% of those thoughts are NEGATIVE. How do we navigate those approximately 40,000 negative thoughts a day?


Yes, we can do things like mindfulness exercises, yoga, meditation and other things that help quiet our minds. These can be helpful. I have tried these over the years, some with more success than others. Some with very little help.

What helps you deal with your brain maybe very different from what works with me. And this is okay. Personally, I have tried to be more aware of when I talk to myself negatively. Simply becoming aware of how often I do this (way more than I realized!) has increased my awareness. Sometimes, I should be hard on myself when I do those things that I know I should not do. Other times, I really need to love myself and extend myself lots and lots of grace.

It takes something like seven positive comments to offset one negative comment. The comments can come from others, and they can come from yourself. What this says to me is that we really should be gentler and kinder with each other. And ourselves.

There are many, many times when I know that I am doing something that I should not be doing. (Hello – empty container of ice cream!) The ones that bother me the most are when I am not patient or kind or rude to another person. Why do I do this?

It is so frustrating.

I choose whether or not to stop, examine what I am doing and decide whether or not I will change my behavior. Will I listen for God and help me redirect my thoughts? Or will that negative side of my brain chatter louder and louder?

We do not have to be perfect. This is not the expectation. Simply, we choose whether or not to listen, observe our actions, and be guided by the One who loves us unconditionally.

Your brain is amazing! You will have some great thoughts in your brain today. And yes, you’ll probably have a bunch of negative ones as well. You will. I will. We all will. We will also choose what to do with those negative thoughts. Let’s give them opportunities to help us grow and be guided by God daily.

For being okay with negative and positive things in my brain, I am very grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – Too often, I find my brain chatting and running too fast. My thoughts get clouded by those negative thoughts I tell myself. I pray You will help me sort through those negative thoughts and find the ones that I should address and be aware of. Help me let go of those thoughts that just are a huge distraction. Thank you for my amazing brain. Together, may we embrace all that it can be and do for me. Amen.

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