For every mile of road there are two miles of ditch. Extremes are exaggerations or over-emphasis of a truth. You can be in error simply by emphasis.
I have noticed some men either are overly confident, even arrogant, or they are insecure, not thinking enough of themselves at all. In both cases, the extremes cause the error.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
Paul gives some good advice, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
Notice the emphasis on the self-assessment is based on sober judgment. To think soberly means to have sound judgment, to be in agreement, to be harmonious, or have the same mind.
What are you to be in agreement with? Paul says, “In accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” In other words, to have a sober assessment of one’s self is to be in harmony or in agreement with God’s Word for you.
When your child has fallen short on a task, do you emphasize that failure every day for the rest of his or her life? Of course not, you build them up, focusing on their strengths. It would be unhealthy to constantly remind them of their shortcomings. The same is true for you, if you fall short or make a mistake, don’t rehearse the failure over and over — get over it and move on — change your thinking.
The summer before my last year of high school, we moved to our lake house near a small town where I would finish my senior year. Previously I had played football at a school with an excellent coach. He eventually went on to be an assistant coach for the Oklahoma Sooners. That coach lead us to a consistent winning record.
However, now I was at a smaller school. At the first team meeting I knew we were in trouble. I looked around the room to see a bunch of sloppy guys. They seemed to drag themselves around, shoulders drooping, with stinky attitudes. Their team talk was all negative.
“We haven’t had a winning season in years,” one of my new friends commented. The self-doubt and unbelief was contagious. Others chimed in to echo the defeatism.
Sure enough, we lost every single game we played that year. It was demoralizing to say the least. That team was defeated before we ever started practicing much less before we played a game.
I’ve seen grown men act the same way—constantly regurgitating their experiences rather than their expectations.
Listen men, we cannot win with a losing strategy. We’re in the game of life and we need to win! The scores we earn have a real effect on us and our attitude matters immensely.
Stop talking defeat. Stop discussing your fears, doubts, and unbeliefs. And just as importantly, stop THINKING defeat and doubt.
There is a great story in the Old Testament when Jonathan says to his armor-bearer, “Let’s go fight our enemy. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord, no matter how many they have.”
The armor-bearer’s response is awesome. He says, “Do all that you have in mind. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
That’s the kind of statement we need to make if we’re going into battle, if we’re going to lead a company to new levels of success, if we’re going to raise up our children to have confidence.
What patterns of poor thinking do you need to change or overcome?