There are not many things in life that are harder to control than impulse behavior. From the one
who is an impulse buyer that runs up their credit card, to those who speak before they engage brain! This
bleeds over into many aspects of life and even may become a detrimental lifestyle. It is important we refrain
from this type of behavior because, while it may work out from time to time, it inevitably leads to hardship in our lives.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us how we should behave in a Godly way. He opens up in Matthew
5:1-13 by telling us adversity is a way of life for many. It sets the stage for us to “think
forward”, for you see, this world is not our home—Heaven awaits those who believe. All
the hardships cannot compare to the glory we will experience in Heaven. So the impulsiveness you may experience
doesn’t compare to what God’s blessings.
Verses 14-19 let us know we are important to God, for He says we are “light of the world”. If we were not important, God would not make such an attempt to teach us a
better way. We should “let our light so shine before men”!
In doing this we come to realize we are hardly in control of our lives. We must realize God’s
blessings are derived from our recognition of His love. Our impulsive nature leads us to be prideful, arrogant
and express a sense of power over our lives that are simply not there. When we recognize God in our lives,
we are able to learn to think ahead and that is the light that shines inside us and others see. When we
realize this we no longer live impulsively, but with forethought about how our lives play out. I know there
are many things that are out of our control, but there are many things we can influence.
Verses 20-37 delve into an area that has confounded humanity for a long time. How do we keep from
thinking things that are sinful? How do you keep anger from becoming murder, or lust from adultery?
Jesus told us that our core beliefs should go so deep into who we are, that we are able to put off earthly tendencies
and replace them with the spiritual leadership of the Holy Spirit. These verses also speak of interpersonal
relationships, as in divorce and false accusations. We need to learn to recognize God’s desire to
input into our lives in relationship that fulfills His purpose for us. When we think forward, we are able
for see those hardships coming and are able to curtail some of the problems and consequences. For example,
when our children are young, this is the time to play with them, teach them right from wrong and show them they are more than
just mini-us. Many people seemingly allow their children to raise themselves and we can see that influence
in their later years. It is too late after the cattle are out of the lot, to close the gate!
The last verses 38-48 speak of doing the extra measure in all things. I call it having a good work
ethic! If it is your task to sweep the floor, do the best job you possibly can; if you have to mow and
weed eat, let it be a good job and not a slip-shod one. Allowing God to inject His mindset into you affirms
the Scripture: “…we have the mind of Christ.” I Corinthians 2:16b Only until we conform to “thinking forward” will
we find peace and joy in our lives, the way God intended. So, are we ready to learn the greatest lesson
there is in actuality? “You have heard that it
was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for
those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” Matthew 5:43-45 This is
hard to accept, because it goes against our basic tendencies of worldly rational. Yet when we do learn
to think this way, we may face any difficulty that befalls us and achieve peace of mind in it.
Only until we learn to look ahead, will we find the tools needed to deal with life—good and bad.
Thinking forward opens a new avenue to God where we allow Him access to the recesses of our mind—we literally
become “one with God”. I am no longer bound to this world, troubled by the everyday mundane
activities, but now have a new lease on life. That raises the question, “If this is true and it be
so easy, why doesn’t everyone allow God access to their inner most being?” If God fills the
hole in our soul, then how could we be satisfied with anything less? This is where thinking forward comes
It is a fairy-tale world, one where we live “happily ever after”. This is simply not the
case and all you have to do is look around to see others facing great adversities. You even have experienced
adversities in your own life. “And God
will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain,
for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 Only
until we think forward may we find peace in our current circumstances.