How Can I Change My Way of Thinking?

A Mind Reset

It’s a new day.

I look at my digital calendar, which works essentially as my to-do list. Many of the blocks are already full with daily things:

  • make biscuits
  • pay bills
  • take a shower
  • renew library books

I look at the things I want to add in:

  • order new grandbaby photos
  • answer blog comments
  • renew a year-delayed breakfast date
  • plus SO MUCH MORE

There aren’t enough blocks of time. I keep scrolling through the list.

My mind gets itchy. How can I fit it all in? I know I can’t.

And then I land on an item I added a few months ago. I scheduled it to show up on my list every day.

And every day I need to read it. And do it.

It says:

“I don’t have to finish today. It’s okay to never finish.”

It’s not really an item to do. It doesn’t have a time block. But as I read it every morning, I try to do it.

It resets my mind.

I need reminders like this. Things I already know, but that easily slip away.

It’s why I’m a fan of Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Philippians 4:8

Think on these things. Good things. God things.

My random thoughts need guardrails when they start wandering astray.

Dwell on These Things

Because I need little mindset changes throughout the day, I was drawn to read this new book by John Stange, Dwell on These Things: A Thirty-One-Day Challenge to Talk to Yourself Like God Talks to You.

The voices we listen to the most are our own.

What if we change what we speak to ourselves?


In the book Dwell on These Things, we get 31 positive, godly truths to repeat to ourselves. Stange gives examples from his own life as well as from scripture to accompany each truth.

We’re reminded that Jesus quoted the truths of God when he was countering the lies of Satan in the wilderness. Stange says we can do the same thing, replacing the lies we tell ourselves by talking to ourselves with the words God would use instead.

Each chapter/day begins with a truth, such as:

  • Day 1: You are loved more deeply than you realize.
  • Day 7: You can rely on God’s unconditional love.
  • Day 11: Make the most of your privilege to repent.

The middle of each chapter contains a few pages of devotional material to read.

Then each chapter concludes with the exact words to speak over yourself, like these:

  • Dwell on this (Day 1): Today I will remember that in Christ I am loved more deeply than I realize. 
  • Dwell on this (Day 7): Though people with whom I have conditional relationships may disinvite and abandon me, I can rely on God’s unconditional love today and every day.
  • Dwell on this (Day 11): Repentance isn’t terrifying; it’s a privilege that Jesus is calling me to make the most of today and every day.

This is a good book, especially if you are struggling with a lot of negative self-talk. You can thumb through the chapters to find the messages you need the most each day, or just read the book straight through.

How can I change my negative way of thinking?

By thinking on better things.

Do you need to challenge your self-talk? Share in the comments.

Related reading:

My thanks to Net Galley and WaterBrook
& Multnomah for the review copy of this book

11 thoughts on “How Can I Change My Way of Thinking?

  1. Joanne Viola

    “How can I change my negative way of thinking?
    By thinking on better things.”

    Lisa, how very true. And most effective when we speak God’s truth to ourselves. I find doing so out loud helps the most!

  2. Jodee

    I love your line “My random thoughts need guardrails when they start wandering astray.” Holy Spirit set up those guardrails and help me bring my thoughts back into alignment with what you say.

  3. Donna

    Lisa this book looks interesting to me-I tend to struggle with negative self talk, but thought I was doing better until I read the three days you shared, none of those things do I ever say to myself, and found it hard to do so. Looks like a great read!

  4. Susan+Shipe

    I don’t even use lists any longer except to go to the grocery list. Living in a tiny house – I can SEE every thing needing done and I either do it or put it off for a few days. Things I must do each day: make bed, do dishes, wipe kitchen down, keep bathroom tidy. DONE! Right now, my office space is desperate for a thorough remove all things and clean — I may or may not — but it’ll get done by Christmas. LOL!!! You would never even know it needs it cause it is tidy!

  5. Nancy Ruegg

    I once heard a speaker draw a new-to-me lesson from Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet. She focused on Mark 14:8 where Jesus says, “She did what she could.” At the end of a busy day with an incomplete to-do list, each of us can say, “I did what I could.” And that is enough. Somehow we’re not satisfied unless every single item is checked off, but that’s unrealistic. Now as I leave my desk with tasks incomplete, I try to remember to encourage myself: I did what I could, and that is enough.

  6. Laurie

    I need to read a book that challenges me to talk to myself the way God speaks to me. Now that the pandemic restrictions are ending, my calendar tends to overflow too. Focusing on the positive is a wonderful daily reset.

  7. Jean Wise

    Dwell on these good thoughts. Have you read Jon Acuff’s soundtracks – very similar, He encourages us to collect positive self talk sound tracks to repeat. He has an interesting podcast too. I read the book from the library and just ordered a copy too.

  8. David

    “I don’t have to finish today. It’s okay to never finish.” That is a brilliant daily reminder! As is the idea to talk to myself like God talks to me in the Bible. Reading Paul’s letters I often can’t help feeling I am being addressed (reading them doesn’t feel like prying on someone else’s conversation — perhaps because they were semi-public letters).

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