Fortune Cookie Faith
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I had finished my egg roll, egg drop soup, and cashew chicken. I poured myself another cup of hot Jasmine tea and opened my fortune cookie. Who knew a blog post would follow?

The little piece of paper hidden inside my cookie held an interesting message. Fortunes usually contain a statement that will be true if the person holding the message makes it come true. I read my fortune that day and wanted to live the message as a truth for my life.

My fortune said: “To think is easy; to act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.”

To think is easy.

According to healthybrains.org,Your brain is a three pound universe that processes 70,000 thoughts each day using 100 billion neurons that connect at more than 500 trillion points through synapses that travel 300 miles/hour.” It’s a wonder we don’t have a constant headache!

King David praised God saying, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13–14). 

God created our brains and then caused us to think millions of thoughts each day. Our brains don’t even shut down when we sleep. Thinking is easy because that’s what God created us to do. It’s also why God knew we would need his guidance.

The apostle Paul was mentoring Timothy when he said, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7). One of the most helpful things we can do for our lives is to think with God’s guidance. We can gain knowledge as we think, but we gain understanding as God applies his wisdom to our thoughts.

To think is easy . . .

To act is difficult

Forbes Magazine published an article about the twenty-five biggest regrets in life. The list confirmed the message I got in my fortune cookie. All of us have millions of thoughts, but our lives are altered by the actions, or inactions, our thoughts produce in our lives.

Forbes Magazine listed these as people’s greatest regrets:

  • Working too much at the expense of family and friendships.
  • Not standing up to bullies in school or in life.
  • Not maintaining friendships.
  • Losing a true love relationship.
  • Worrying what others think too often.
  • Not having confidence.
  • Living the life a parent wants for us, rather than the life we want for ourselves.
  • Not seeking a dream job. Not pursuing joy. Taking life too seriously.
  • Not disconnecting from technology often enough.
  • Not taking fun trips with family and friends.
  • Not healing a broken marriage or friendship.
  • Not trusting the inner voice and allowing other voices to carry too much influence.

A sin occurs when we choose to do wrong. I used to tell my kids that mistakes were normal and we all make them. I didn’t punish my kids for making a mistake. I did, however, punish them if they chose to do something wrong when they knew to do what was right. That’s the difference between a mistake and a sin.

God will never let us “fall” into sin. He will, however, allow us to choose the path that leads to that fall. Our common sense and God’s Spirit will re-direct and warn us before we fall. God doesn’t want us to fall, doesn’t cause us to fall, but he also doesn’t promise to keep us from falling. God made us with a free will and then gave us a mind that would be able to know how to use our free will. 

It’s easy to think about things. Our problem is we don’t always act on the thoughts God provides.

To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.

There are a LOT of verses that discuss the importance of our actions. The apostle John taught, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). James said, “You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18). King Solomon said, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).

Our three-pound brains create about 70,000 thoughts each day. Many of those thoughts lead to our actions. Our most difficult task begins with our most difficult choice. Paul taught us to, “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

If we want to act on our best thoughts we need to remember to think with God. If we want to walk in his ways, we need to obey the voice of Christ, through his Holy Spirit. Godly actions will require us to think with biblical priorities.

None of us will do that often enough. We certainly live in an era of “arguments and lofty opinions.” We also live with constant access to God’s word. We simply have to make the difficult choice to submit every thought to Christ and then obey his direction.

Fortune Cookie Faith

I opened that fortune cookie, read it, and then passed it to my husband. I liked the message and wanted to share it with him. Normally, I would have left that little piece of paper on the table before leaving the restaurant; but that day I took it home.

Sometimes a fortune cookie gives you a message for the moment. Sometimes a fortune cookie becomes a thought, which when submitted to God becomes an action. One of my 70,000 thoughts that day was, “I want to write about this.”

I hope my fortune cookie faith was a blessing to your thoughts today. God wants us to revere his voice and obey his daily direction. It’s our whole duty and it’s our great reward.

That cashew chicken was really good, but God used a fortune cookie to provide his thought that day.