I love that. It matured me faster as a child; I was able to observe people's behaviour and have an understanding of the "why's" and "how's" of their actions. It made university a joy to me - writing a million essays was pleasure for me. Being a thinker has also made me a writer - it is the best way I communicate my thoughts.
But being a thinker can have it's downsides...
...I'm prone to over-analyzing everything...
...I can get trapped in a bad pattern of thought behaviour that can be difficult to get out of...
...And, because of that, I have a tendency to negative thinking and pessimism...
Basically, as a thinker, I can be preoccupied...with myself. A lot. That's a kind way to describe the pits I can get myself into. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great 20th century minister and theologian, calls such states being "morbidly and sinfully preoccupied with self". My sensitive soul wants to rebel against such brutal admissions to my "struggles with self"...but, frankly, it's true.
I think too much about myself. I obsess too much over every feeling and thought. I lash myself over the past and my sins. I comb through all the possibilities and "what if's" about myself in minute detail. Because of all this, I get fearful, anxious, panicked and down. If I am not careful, I am controlled by every negative thought and feeling.
That is morbid.
So what is this sinner to do?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones believes there are three reasons why we become like this and, by changing these areas, we can become less self-absorbed:
1. We spend too much time judging our thoughts, motives and actions. Instead, we must leave our judgement to God.
"He is the Judge and you have no right to waste His time or your own time and energy in condemning yourself. Forget yourself, leave the judgement to Him and get on with work."
2. We spend too much time thinking about what we can do to change ourselves. Instead, we must trust in the Cross and Christ's grace and we must simply obey.
"We have not learned as Christians that we are to deny self and take up the Cross and follow Him...leaving ourselves, past, present and future in His hands."
3. We think too much about ourselves because we don't think about Him enough.
"It's our failure to know Him and His ways as we should know them - that is the real trouble. If only we spent more time looking at Him we should soon forget ourselves."
I have found his words so convicting but also very encouraging and helpful. I know, and have known for awhile, that I have this sin struggle. I want to get better, to grow in Christ in this area. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' words have been very timely in this new year, and I pray that they sink in deep and produce fruit in my life.
How about you? Do you struggle with something similar? Is there anything that is helping you become less self-occupied and more God-occupied?
Linked with: Babies and Beyond, Mommy Moments, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays, Thriving Thursdays and Thrive @ Home.