Day 31: discipline the body pt. 3 & Discipline the mind pt. 1 (START)

I’ve worked with foster kids for almost 20 years in various capacities. I’m not a professional counselor but I’ve learned the jargon & principles . . . enough to understand the ‘why’ but not enough to know the ‘what to do now’.

I remember learning many years ago from a professional counselor, “Thoughts drive emotions. Emotions drive behavior”. That’s a helpful principle when designing a residential program for abused & neglected youth; it’s also helpful for overcoming addiction to pornography.

To build off what we discussed the past two days (intentionality & discipline), let’s look further at Paul’s letter to the Romans. In chapter 8, Paul talks about a mind set on the flesh versus a mind set on the Spirit (God). A mind on the flesh is death, hostile toward God, and does not, nor cannot, submit to or please God. A mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Which do you want?

Your mind is more than your thoughts (how you analyze, problem-solve, decipher, navigate life . . . establish values, choose to interact with others . . . your philosophy on right/wrong and why, etc.) but let’s focus on thoughts for now considering my conversation with the counselor years ago.

If it’s true thoughts lead to emotions & behavior,

and it’s true that a mind focused on God produces life and peace,

and it’s true that healthy intentional behavior & self-discipline would bring an abundant life & peace,

then the secret to intentionality & self-discipline starts with our thoughts.


Are you with me?

So, watch your thoughts.

Capture your thoughts.

Be mindful of your thoughts.


We have a couple more lessons on this topic which we’ll come back to but for now, be aware of your thoughts patterns. It is tempting to solely focus on your behavior. If for nothing more than just so you will excuse thoughts b/c they’re not . . . behavior . . . a “real” sin.

You’re a month in on this devotional.

A new you on the horizon.

Watch your thoughts.


Thoughts to Pray/Journal:

  1. When are you most likely to let your mind wander toward unhealthy things? Create a plan to diffuse that pattern.
  2. Is the ‘Thoughts drive emotions. Emotions drive behavior’ pattern true for you? How or how not?
  3. Note your thoughts. What’s healthy & what’s not healthy?



Romans 8:1-11