Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review // As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

This book is based on the verse:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. 
Proverbs 23:7a

While the author never directly quotes this scripture, or any other, one who is familiar with the Bible will be able to pick up on several paraphrased truths throughout the book. James Allen wrote this book in the early 1900’s and it is now labeled a “self-help classic.” I believe it is a good one to keep on the bookshelf. 

This book explores the practical application of scriptural truth that whatever you think - - whatever your mind, thoughts, emotions dwell on -- that is the substance on which you build your life. Your thoughts become your basis for faith; they become your words; they become your actions. The author explains how thoughts can specifically affect our circumstances, our health & physical body, our achievements, our character and purpose. The language he uses is certainly a “classical” language, but I was still able to read the entire book in less than 40 minutes. However, I believe the truths presented deserve more meditation time than that.

It is quite amazing how much power our thoughts and words have on our lives. I’ve always been careful not to swear or slander others. But I haven’t always guarded my thoughts and tongue when it came to phrases like: “This is driving me crazy” … “I’m so stupid/tired/clumsy/ugly”… “I’m sick/scared to death” … “I’m anxious to…”… “I’m afraid” … “I’m not good enough” and so on. Once I caught on that none of these phrases are actually things I WANT in my life and therefore shouldn’t claim them, my quality of life got substantially better. Those words are road blocks in my path to success and blessings. On the other hand, thinking and saying words that empower, encourage, strengthen and focus on joy will actually do just that (especially when they are rooted in the Truth of God's Word).

It is good to be reminded of this topic often. I definitely recommend this book as a tool for exploring the various ways in which thoughts impact our lives. But always remember, God gave us this bit of wisdom first:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21

(Thanks to our Pastor for giving this book to all us church leaders!)