Saturday, April 22, 2017

Think 4:8 by Tommy Newberry & Lyn Smith

Think 4:8 is a daily devotional for teens written by Tommy Newberry and Lynn Smith. The central premise of the book is that we can control our thoughts, and by choosing to thinking about worthy things you can be closer to God, have better relationships, achieve more and be happier overall. The authors take this key thought from Philippians 4:8.

Each chapter in the book deals with patterns of thought, behavior and habits that can lead to joy or displeasure. Our emotions and actions are sparked by our outlook and thoughts. If we want to be generally happier and do more of what we really want, we need to develop good habits of thought.

This is a Christian book, so the principal thing, the source of joy, is to know God. Believe He has a good plan for you.

I like that the book reiterates the importance of gratitude. I think gratitude is one of the most significant contributors to happiness. Count your blessings.

Another theme that recurs in the book, not always explicitly, is the importance of discipline. The entire book is essentially about disciplining your thoughts. Proper discipline is not a burdensome thing, it is the foundation of good habits and achievement. When applied to your approach to others, it can lead to better relationships. Discipline isn’t something one suffers as a punishment, it is the effort one puts into overcoming obstacles because the results are worth it.

Each chapter in the book is short; it can be read in a few minutes. Each chapter also has exercise, which also can be completed in a few minutes. The authors encourage the reader to engage a trusted friend in many of the activities. I can imagine teens balking at that, but I suspect a teen using the devotional might have involved parents or friends in a church youth group who can smooth that over.

Though the book is written for teenagers, I think the lessons (if not always the details) are applicable to adult life as well. I never hurts to be reminded of the benefits of good mental hygiene, especially with the pressures, distractions and temptations presented by adult life.

Tommy Newberry also wrote The 4:8 Principle.

If you’re interested in this book, you may also be interested in

Newberry, Tommy, & Lyn Smith. Think 4:8: 40 Days to a Joy-filled Life for Teens. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2013.