When your mind gets darkened

by | Oct 3, 2023

When your mind gets darkened.

I am catching myself having more and more negative thoughts. The 10+ hour power outages, numerous traffic accidents due to people recklessly charging through traffic lights that don’t work, (refusing to use them as 4-way stop streets); hosts of shops that are closed in some of my favourite shopping malls due to loadshedding (with short-sighted landlords  not wanting to invest in back-up power); corruption that seems to have no end in sight; and I can go on… and my negative focus start to darken my mind.

When you focus on what you don’t have or on negative situations you can do very little or absolutely nothing about, your mind becomes darkened, instead of being CONTENT with what we have (Hebrews 13:5). My one daily devotional puts it in perspective – “When we walk in the Light of practicing the discipline of thanks giving, our mind will be renewed and transformed.” (Jesus Calling – April 6)

That’s when I realised, I need to practise this discipline of thanks giving, it does not come automatically. I need to listen to Jesus’ warning to His disciples when He said “Be especially careful how you listen…” (Luke 8:18) He knew the effect of negative thoughts and endlessly playing with ‘what if scenarios’ and how it slowly starts to darken our minds.

As I watch news event from around the world and see the problems other countries have – riots & graffiti (France); fires (Canada, California, Greece); power outages (US, UK and a host of other countries); floods all over; masses of people everywhere, then the problems we have start coming into perspective. Yes we have serious problems, but nowhere do you have the people (our Rainbow nation); the quality of life (house maids – in Switzerland cost R700 PER HOUR if you can get someone); amazing scenery; beaches and wild life, like we have here… and I have been in more than 70 countries.

I sat in a dental lab a few days ago, asking the owner whether many of his dentist clients are leaving the country – yes he said, but many others that have left are coming back! That made me think of the saying… the grass is always greener on the other side. Why? Because of all the manure.

When we travel internationally Anita and I soon miss the taxi’s, the friendly car guards, and our fellow countrymen. Here, dear reader, there is life and we are alive! (Where in the world do you arrive at an international airport with music blaring, toy helicopters hovering above your head and toy dogs running around your feet – woef-woef! 😊. Once you start enjoying the diversity, you know you are home, you can breathe, and you are part of our amazing rainbow nation!)

On a more spiritual note, with all these realities surrounding us, I also realised that there is only one way to guard my thoughts and thereby guard my heart. Max Lucado says it so aptly “Your heart is a fertile greenhouse ready to produce good fruit. Your mind is the doorway to your heart – the strategic place where you determine which seeds are sown and which seeds are discarded. The Holy Spirit is ready to help you manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter. He can help you guard your heart. He stands with you on the threshold. A thought approaches, a questionable thought. Do you throw open the door and let it enter? Of course not, ‘you fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ’ (2 Cor 10:5) You don’t leave the door unguarded! Capture every thought not fit to enter!!”   (Grace for the Moment – 4 Oct)

How do I do it? Every single day I clothe myself with the Armour of God. (Ephesians 6:11-13) Every morning I pray the Armour of God over myself, Anita, our household, our family, our staff and our businesses.

  • That I will put on the belt of truth and stand against all lies and corruption
  • That I will put on the breastplate of righteousness and protect my heart from useless seeds stemming from useless thoughts
  • That I will clothe my feet with the Gospel of Peace and share it wherever I go – without fear!
  • That I will take up the shield of faith to ward off the arrows of the enemy (be careful, there is one! – called discouragement, oh, another one! – called fear!)
  • That I will put on the helmet of salvation to guard my mind and my thoughts!
  • That I will pick up the Sword of the Spirit and make the Word of God my own to guide me, teach me, correct and encourage me to fight the good fight, to stay the course and not to give up but to look up!

I want to invite you dear reader, to join me every morning and also clothe yourself with the Armour of God, your family, your work, your employer / business, and you will be amazed as your darkened mind start seeing the Light.

8 Comments

  1. Ben Koekemoer

    Middag Nico, vanoggend het ek die voorreg gehad om te luister na die onderhoud wat Wynand met jou gevoer het op Radio Kansel.

    Toe ek hoor van die boeke wat jy skryf en veral die boek ” What does God knows about business” het ek besluit om jou n bietjie op te soek.

    Groot was my verbasing toe ek op die plasings van jou afkom. Ek lees dit en geniet dit en so baie was/is van toepasing op my eie lewe. Ek het antwoorde gekry, en by tye moes ek selfs sê Eina!! maar die waarheid bly die waarheid.

    Baie dankie vir wat jy met ons deel.

    Reply
  2. Ine van den Heuvel

    I felt touched by what you‘ve written. We all should indeed start to focus on the many positive things and vibes in this world. Thank you for your words and I feel very blessed knowing you and Anita.
    Autumn greetings from the Lake of Zurich 🧡🍂🫶🍁🧡
    Ine

    Reply
  3. Alan Barr

    Thanks Nico – this country is certainly one that makes you feel alive and lots of opportunity to make a difference.

    Reply
  4. Celeste

    Amen! I need that most days when frustration tends to overwhelm me.

    Reply
  5. Heidi Taylor

    A very timely reminder Nico – thank you.

    Reply
    • Andries

      Dankie Nico, ons word so meegesleur deur ons omstandighede. Dankie vir die tydige herrinnering.

      Reply
      • Corinne

        Yes! What a timely post as I prepare to lead a group of women.
        Retreat theme is COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.

        While preparing discouragement, fear and discontent have reared their ugliness. Off to do battle now against thoughts that bring death!

        Battle plan in place. Action now required.

        Reply
  6. Anton Swanepoel

    Thank you, Nico, for yet another sobering biblical perspective combatting our worldly realities.

    Reply

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