How must you think so you can thrive?

John Shibley completes his series on getting out of the rut and becoming who you were called to be!

My Pastor always said, when harboring resentment or bitterness, “Life’s too short, God’s too good, and the Kingdom’s too important”.  Truer words have never been spoken when considering factors that foster peace of mind.  How many days have you awakened to find yourself still senselessly tormented by the way someone either betrayed, disappointed, confronted, or antagonized you?  Personally, I have wasted too many hours and rented too much mental space to other people who have frustrated me.  Anxiety and stress seem to have a front-row seat to our lives without us feeling the need to pour gas on the fire.  We have choices that require thought that requires energy, which requires a limited resource called time.  Why must we waste it thinking the worst about other people?  Yes, some people have hurt us and some people have relinquished the right to earn our friendship and trust.  Just like with forgiveness, we can forgive so we can preserve our relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we are not required to maintain a close connection with toxic individuals.  Reconciliation does not mean a continuation of interaction.  I have cut many people loose, even without closure or revenge (which isn’t mine to administer), where maybe they won the battle but my severing ties allowed me to win the war.

All that leads me to Question #4:  How must you think so you can thrive?  Drive or dread?  Many of us have spent years dreading encounters and endeavors that expose our discomfort and insecurity.  Fear leads to apprehension which leads to dread and avoidance.  Thoughts that prevent thriving are born out of self-doubt and limitation.  I want to be a man who dwells on passions and desires that drive me within my mission.  A driven mindset usually leads to a thriving mindset.  

How many people who are tormented by dread are thriving?  Very few.  God gave us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind; not of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).  A sound mind is one of determination and perseverance, not of discouragement and hopelessness.  I want to function as the designer designed me to function.  

In my experience, when I’m focused on my gifts, talents, and strengths I become a driven force that seeks opportunities to serve in a significant capacity.  Life is quite the opposite when I’m wrapped around the axle of my feelings and emotions in a state of dread.  I’m no good to anyone or God’s Kingdom when I’m psychologically defeated.  Ultimately, it’s a choice.  Life throws nasty curveballs and opens doors through which we need to walk, but about which we are not excited.  Dreading those thorny tasks of necessity only compounds our anxiety.  I want to be a man with his eyes up, his courage engaged, and one who leans into the heat of the situation; trusting God’s plan and promises.   



For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
Proverbs 23:7

For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control. 
2 Timothy 1:7



  • List the names of people you need to forgive and release.
  • Replace toxic thoughts with statements of gratitude throughout your day.
  • List what you are dreading and what drives you.  Eliminate the dread and lean in to those endeavors.