Transforming Thoughts

Last Saturday morning I drove to a town an hour away, where I knew essentially no one, nor was I familiar with the area. I pulled up to a church unbeknown to me and vice-versa. I walked in and was greeted by those who knew only of my name and information from an application.

Two months before this moment, my cousin prompted me with the idea of being a senior counselor for a well-known camp called Summer's Best 2 Weeks, a camp originating closer to central Pennsylvania. However, I was going to be a counselor for a camp at a church that was hosting their own similar version.

Do you really think you can be a camp counselor?
People aren't really going to like you.
Sports? You're not good at sports.
Teaching Bible? You'll probably mess up and the kids will learn nothing.
No one will understand you or care to.

Those were just a few of the thoughts in my head as I sat down at the table Saturday morning with a dozen strangers. I was so afraid. I felt like turning back. 

This isn't the first time God has pushed me into open fields of uncertainty. First it was attending a youth group where I knew no one. And then last summer when I made the decision to attend a mission trip to Ecuador including flying to Florida by myself and meeting up with 400+ strangers from all over the place. And now, again, He set me in a place where I was far away from comfort. 

This morning I read Philippians 4, what a great book it is.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (v.8)

I began to think about all the insecurities that I had been feeling last weekend when I arrived. Where those thoughts true? Were they noble or right? Were they excellent or praiseworthy?

Often I believe we view this verse as a command to purity, but after thinking about it, this verse speaks to so much more than that. It is obvious that God does not desire us to think negatively of ourselves, but how often do we truly believe and see ourselves the way God does?

What if I were to replace those thoughts that I previously mentioned? What if I were to recreate them as pure and noble, as admirable?
Do you really think you can be a camp counselor? becomes: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
People aren't really going to like you. becomes: Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:39)
No one will understand you or care to. becomes: I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Does your thought life need transformation?

P.S. So it turns out that I've been told I am at least a half-decent counselor, that people like me and do desire to understand me. The sports part.. well.. let's just say I'm still working on that! But it turns out, my insecurities were wrong as they usually are. If only I had read Philippians 4 sooner. :)