Four Painless Ways to Build Your Mental Toolbox

A pair of pliers isn’t something you think about much until you need it. When I was 20, I remember going to Home Depot with my soon-to-be wife and buying a basic set of tools (hammer, screwdrivers, etc.).

It’s the most boring story ever.

Shopping for a new TV is way more exciting but, when your sink breaks at 10PM, those pliers become your best friends. Everybody needs some.

Our thoughts are mental tools of sorts, and we would be wise to consider adding a few to our workbench. As Scripture tells us, we should think about the way we think.

Philippians 4:8
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

How can we add more mental tools to our life so that we’re ready for when the faucet leaks or it’s time to hang a mirror? Here are four to consider:

1  – Memorize Scripture

Always start with Scripture. “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11. I’m convinced the main reason people struggle with the Bible is not because it’s hard to understand, but because they’ve never tried it (a subject for another day).

Here’s a couple of life hacks that will help:

Download the Fighter Verses app.

Take a screenshot of a passage of Scripture and make it the wallpaper of your phone. Like this one:


2 – Commit to build your mental toolbox.

This is crucial. If you don’t to go to the hardware store ahead of time, you will regret having to rush out in the middle of a crisis for something you could’ve already had. Decide today to invest in your thinking.

3 – Always be on the lookout for good resources that are on sale.

Amazon knocks down the prices of certain books most weeks, you just have to know where to look. Here are a couple of people I follow on Twitter that help:

Tim Keller Wisdom – @DailyKeller   Here’s an example:

Barnabas Piper – @BarnabasPiper    Here’s an example:

Books can be downloaded on a Kindle or Kindle app (eBooks are usually about 40% cheaper than the hardcopy). And, if you’re more of the listening type, try Audible.

4 – Maximize small moments.

Listen to a book or Podcast on your drive to work or in the pick-up line at school. You should build it into your weekly rhythm. (The last two hours of my work week consists of reading a book that will help me lead better).

In any case, don’t wait until your sink breaks. Get some tools ahead of time.

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