This is a bigger than normal post and I thought long and hard as to whether I should publish my thoughts here…I know that to some they will be controversial but I am sincere in the hope and the belief that they will help some find new light. That is my prayer.
I have gained immeasurably from the Master Key by Charles Haanel and other writings suggested in the course of studying it…yes I see some flaws in Haanel’s work some of which he may well bring up to date with the benefit of later science…but they are not so significant when I compare them to the overall benefits of the knowledge gained.
It also shone light on flaws in my own previously held dogmas and being set free from them has helped me help others powerfully in areas where I was previously impotent.
The recent re-reading of ‘As a man Thinketh’ has been done in a new light and I have attempted to write a 21st century version that puts God back on the throne but does not in any way bring down the power invested in man.
In my new and I trust improved understanding we Christians have been afraid to talk about the soul power of thought in some cases even suggesting it may be occult. (Haanel deals with the dangers inherent in the occult side of these things very well). On the other hand there are people who talk about the Universe as if it had designed and created itself and are afraid of using the Name of its Architect and Builder lest they offend those who have no concept of God. Haanel says the infinite designer made an infinite environment for himself and this is thrilling to contemplate. For those without God I am not offended at your views and I trust if you cannot accept mine you can at least engage in peaceful discussion without taking offence.
We ARE eternal SPIRIT beings, we HAVE a SOUL which consists of our mind, our emotions, our will and for our time on this planet we LIVE IN this wonderful earth ship we call our BODY. Some like to talk only of the body, some talk only of the Soul and others retreat behind the walls of theology and suggest that only the spirit is of importance. We are whole people and I have come to see that more clearly than ever before…I will post my thoughts from ‘As a Man Thinketh’ in a few instalments here over the coming days…
In Psalm 37:1,2 King David wrote Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
His son King Solomon wrote Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words. Proverbs 23:6,7
Don’t envy a wicked man or eat with a miserly avaricious person, don’t wish to be like them or envy or desire what they have. Not everything is as it seems… his smiling face might be hiding his true character from some people, but God is not fooled, and the Spirit of God will give you discernment too.
The wicked may appear to have more than you right now but it is better to be content with what little you have than to be rich and still not satisfied.
Money is a wonderful servant but it is a harsh master. However much the men described have they can never be satisfied, they will always want more and they will never be filled… and worse they can never properly enjoy even what they have.
Those words of King Solomon prompted James Allen to write a famous book in 1903. called. ”As a man thinketh.” and most of us have heard the well known aphorism ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’, without always realising it goes all the way back to wise King Solomon.
I am going to borrow some of his thoughts. Some of us have been reading John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth as we are watching his Leadership videos’s. He mentions James Allen’s book in the first chapter saying he read it in 7th grade and almost a dozen times since. I am going to borrow some of my thoughts from it this morning in the hope that it will help us all to grow in certain areas .
Solomon’s statement As a man thinks in his heart embraces the whole of a man’s being, and reaches out to every condition and circumstance of his life.
God created man in His own image and wanted a perfect life for him and his beautiful bride. Sadly they chose their own way rather than walk the path God planned for them and so man’s character was forever flawed. God never gave up on man and has made a way for his complete restoration, which we may get to later. But our first purpose here is to discover how a man’s character is literally built out of the complete sum of all his thoughts, and that holds true whatever his religion, or belief system.
Just like a plant springs from, and couldn’t exist without the seed, so every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called “spontaneous” and “unpremeditated” as to those which are deliberately executed.
Actions are the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruit; so whether for good or ill we have all made our own circumstances.
Cause and effect are as absolute and undeviating in the spiritual realm of thought as they are in the visible and material world.
A noble and God-like character is not given as a gift neither does it come by chance. It is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts.
Let me show you what I mean from Scripture. Look at Philippians 4 with me…from verse 4
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
So what is Paul telling the Philippians to do here? Think…think joyful thoughts. Choose to be joyful. And it really is your choice.
5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
But you might not feel like being considerate and here is Paul telling you to let everyone see how considerate you are…how are you to do it?…Paul tells you how…He says remember the Lord is coming soon. Think about Jesus, direct your thoughts towards Jesus…focus on Him and what He has already done…and look forward to His coming again…and then you will find it easy enough to be considerate to others.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
There are good thoughts and bad thoughts…He says don’t worry because that’s a bad thought…it is not trusting…it is not faithful… it is positively harmful spiritually, mentally and physically…worry leads to stress and stress is responsible for many serious illnesses. Not to beat around the bush… stress is a killer.
So the try the good thoughts instead…pray about everything…tell God what you need and give thanks for what He has done.
You might say I only just prayed…He hasn’t done it yet.
Gratitude is the cause, God knows what you need before you tell Him and His provision will be the effect, the reward of a grateful heart.
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
What is peace…it’s thought isn’t it…tranquil thoughts…your heart will beat slower… your blood pressure will come into line…you will experience a greater feeling of well being.
But back to Philippians 4 verse 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts…Paul is clear that you can choose whatever you think about…and He is aware that you can only think on one thing at a time. He knows you can’t pray with gratitude and worry at the same time. Which is why he says…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Putting into practice is action… and remember action is the blossom of thought. And peace will be the fruit of it.
Then the God of peace will be with you.
By the same process an unworthy, or a disreputable character is shaped by the continued, habitual thoughts of a much more negative kind.
For good or ill the character of man is made in the laboratory of his own thought: he either forges the weapons by which he destroys himself or the tools with which he builds for himself his castle of joy and strength and peace. With favourable choices and the application of right thought, man may ascend to great heights and look back upon his many splendid accomplishments. Between the extremes of the great and the deplorable are the multitude who think more of less average thoughts and lead unremarkable lives and who may be very content to do so. That is a matter for each man to decide but it it is important for him to know there is no limit to what he can do if he chooses save the limits he places upon himself.
It is wonderful to me that God created man in His own image but did not make him a puppet or preordain what a man should do or put any limits on what a man could do if he so desired. God made man the master of his own thought, the moulder of his own character, and the maker and shaper of his condition, environment and destiny.
As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and as the master of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation, and contains within himself power and the knowledge that he can be what he wills to be.
When he begins to reflect upon his power and searches diligently for the law upon which his being is established, he becomes the wise master, directing his energies with intelligence and fashioning his thoughts to fruitful issues. This fruit is brought forth in due season by diligent application, continual self-analysis and the accumulation of every experience, using even the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of himself which is understanding, wisdom and power.
However low a man has fallen there is a great hope…there is redemption for the man who will turn around…there is a God who will forgive every truly repentant heart and if your heart is open and you want to start again please know he will restore you to the place He originally intended for you…His Name is Jesus Christ…He will listen to you cry out to Him…and He will not do it all for you but…He will help you build a whole new life from the remnants of your broken dreams…
we will look at how, and what your part in it must be in the next instalment.