DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: A penny for your thoughts

Published 3:12 pm Saturday, February 24, 2024

I remember growing up hearing the expression: “A penny for your thoughts.” It probably needs to be updated to, “Five bucks for your thoughts.”

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I am not sure I would give someone the time of day for a penny. I think about a lot of things, I sure hope that my thoughts are worth more than a penny. Although, I admit some of my thoughts are worthless.

I have been watching people recently and noticing that most people don’t take much time to just sit quietly and think. I was waiting at a business the other day and everyone was looking at their phone. I watched people in a parking lot. They were either talking on their phone, reading something on their phone or texting someone. Many times you can walk past people and they won’t even greet you because they are staring at their phones.

When do people take time to think? It is hard to think when we are constantly bombarded with texts, emails, social media, news, music and television. We have music playing when we are in our cars. The only solitary place in our lives is the bathroom, and even there we are invaded by music and technology. Some might argue that we can think when we are in bed, but even there people are on their phones or tablets.

We need to find a way to shut out all these inputs and allow our minds to think…to process what is happening in and around our lives. I avoid my phone when I walk so I can spend some time thinking and praying. I like to sit out on my porch late at night when the weather is good and the neighborhood is quiet, just to let my mind think and to pray. We have to create a space and time to allow our minds to think.

The next issue is we have to guard our thoughts. We have to control our thoughts and consider carefully the subject of our meditations. I have been keeping close tabs on my mind the last couple of days and keeping track of my thoughts. My mind likes to wander from topic to topic, often faster than I can keep up.

Have you ever thought about winning the lottery? I love to do the math and calculate what we would need to be “comfortable” for the rest of our lives. I also enjoy thinking about how I might give away some of the money. I would love to give some money to schools, police and fire departments, the homeless shelter and animal shelters. Wouldn’t it be fun to go pay someone’s overwhelming medical bills?

Those are entertaining thoughts. But sometimes I caught myself worrying about things that are out of my control. I allowed anxiety about things in my life to grip me. I allowed frustrations with people to take up too much time. While I try to always be positive, I have discovered that negative thoughts can fill my mind, too. I have entertained thoughts that should not be allowed to enter my mind.

When I make mistakes or bad decisions I often struggle to forgive myself. I wrestle with doubts and sometimes give in to their seductions. I faced fears and allowed them to overcome my faith. I want to win and have victorious thoughts, but find that sometimes I am weak and I lose the battle. In those weak moments my thoughts will condemn me and I accept their accusations.

Our thoughts are important to God. He does not want us to live condemned and defeated lives. We have the power to stop our minds and change our stinking thinking. We have to remind ourselves of the truths in scripture.

When our thoughts condemn us, we have to remind ourselves of the truth that we are forgiven. When our faith feels weak, we need to remind ourselves that the Bible calls us overcomers. We can banish fear and worry by replacing them with faith and hope. We must turn our thoughts back to God. We must trust the Bible, which says we will triumph.

I want to encourage you to consider your thoughts. Are they filled with faith in a living God who is on your side, or are they beating you down and keeping you discouraged? I want to encourage you to pack those negative thoughts up and send them away.

Remind yourself of God’s great love for you. Remind yourself that you are strong in Him. Remind yourself that He is with you through the trials of life and He will never forsake you.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or