By Rick Warren
This month I will continue to look at how you can stay mentally fit by looking at some practical suggestions.
1. SCHEDULE SOME THINK TIME EACH WEEK.
Every week, you need to schedule some alone time with the Holy Spirit. Sit down, get alone, get quiet, and think. Don’t read, don’t talk, don’t listen to the radio, and don’t watch television. Just think. Nothing is easier than thinking and nothing is more difficult than serious thinking. And nothing is more rewarding than thinking under the power of the Holy Spirit.
We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, “Make it your ambition to be quiet.” A lot of times we’re just too busy to think. If you are a leader, you should spend a minimum of ten percent of your time thinking about your ministry. Not working at it, but thinking about ways you can make your ministry more intentional and focused.
People say, “I’m just not a creative person.” Yes, you are. You just don’t know it. You have tremendous potential and tremendous abilities. Everybody is creative. Everybody has a creative thought every now and then. It’s just that we don’t always cultivate it. You can cultivate your creativity. Howard Hendricks has a friend who’s a brain surgeon in Dallas. He asked him, “In twenty years of brain surgery, have you ever seen an overused brain?” The surgeon said, “No, but I’ve seen a lot of under used ones.” Most of us just barely tap the potential that God has given to us. Schedule some time to sit down and think.
2. DEVELOP A PERSONAL READING PLAN
When was the last time you read a book? Paul realized the importance of reading. In 2 Timothy 4:13 Paul is in prison in Rome and he tells Timothy, “Don’t forget the books and the parchment. Bring them to me, I need them. I’m going to study.” Paul was making the most of his time, even in prison. Develop a reading plan.
You can literally read yourself out of a rut if you read the right things. Fill your home with good Christian books and magazine. There are some books I think every Christian needs to read. This is especially true for Christian leaders. I read constantly, sometimes several books per week, and I choose those books carefully.
I read a statistic recently that said Americans spend more money on beer than on books. No wonder our stomachs are bigger than our brains!
3. SPEND TIME WITH WISE PEOPLE
Proverbs 13:20 tells us, “He who walks with the wise will be wise.” There is the power of association. You can’t fly with the eagles if you’re going to run with the turkeys. You need to surround yourself with people who will build you up, and who know about the things that you want to know about. If you want to know about the Christian leadership, surround yourself with Christian mentors who have been leading for a long time. Spend time with them and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I’ve had six different mentors. The people poured into me and invested their life into mine. I spent time with these Paul’s in a Paul-Timothy relationship. They gave me their insights and the benefit of their experience. It’s wise to learn from experience, but it’s wiser to learn from the experience of others. You don’t have time to make all the mistakes yourself. Spend time with wise people.
Proverbs 23:19 tells us, “He who listens will be wise.” Schedule think time, develop a reading plan, and spend time with wise people.
Join me next month as I conclude this discussion on how to stay mentally fit.
Rick Warren is the Founding Pastor of Saddleback Church and author of many internationally bestselling books including The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life.