I can’t handle seeing snakes on t.v. or in a book. Because when I do, my mind makes me think snakes are crawling on me. Yikes! Some people are that way with bugs. They see a bug and their mind creates sensations as if millions of bugs are crawling on their arms, or legs, or even worse, in their hair. (As I scratched my head just now. Let’s change the subject, please.) These examples show just how powerful our minds and our thoughts are. But even so, we don’t have to believe every thought we think.
(Especially the ones with bugs crawling on us. No thank you.)
Have you ever thought about what you think about?
Strange question, I know. But seriously, have you ever stopped to think about your thoughts? Because truly, our thoughts matter. Our thoughts make a difference. Out of our thoughts come our words, our actions, our beliefs, our principles and standards. Our thoughts determine how we perceive ourselves, each other, and this world. Truly, our thoughts control so much!
For as he thinks within himself, so is he.Proverbs 23:7a VOICE
Consider your answers to these questions:
- What do your thoughts consist of?
- What’s your first thought in the morning?
- What’s your last thought you remember thinking before falling asleep?
- Are your thoughts generally positive or are they more negative?
- How are your thoughts about yourself? Your surroundings? This world?
- Is there anything that consumes your thoughts? A problem? A worry? A current or past sin?
So often we just think without thinking about what we’re thinking about! Am I right?? I believe it’s important to pay attention to our thoughts. To examine them for a couple days. Because only when we do that can we begin to understand the big picture of how our thoughts connect to our lives. Why not consider your thoughts for the next couple days? Pay attention to what you’re thinking. You might be surprised. Like I was when I did this exercise.
After you’re aware of your thoughts, you can then choose which ones you think and believe.
That’s right. You can choose.
We don’t have to believe every thought we think.
It takes some work, but we can change our thoughts, and we can choose to believe the good, helpful, healthy ones. Yes, you and I can alter what we think about. It’s not necessary (or wise) to believe every thought. Because some of the thoughts we think aren’t from God. Some of our thoughts aren’t healthy. Some of our thoughts don’t honor God or ourselves. And to be quite honest, the enemy of our souls likes to plant thoughts in our minds ever so subtly throughout our days. He loves to take control of minds. The thing is, we don’t have to let him. Friend, we have a say in the matter.
I’ve learned a few tactics over the last couple of years that help me in reshaping my thoughts. With much effort and personal application, I’m living proof that we can choose the thoughts we think and believe the ones we choose to believe. I’ve learned that I don’t have to believe every thought. What a difference!
A few Bible verses continue to point me in the right direction. They might help you, too.
Ask the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts:
If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace.Romans 8:6 NCV
Allow God to change your life and give you a new mind:
Do not act like the sinful people of the world. Let God change your life. First of all, let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do. And the things you do will be good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2 NLV
Capture your thoughts as if they are prisoners:
We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.2 Corinthians 10:5b NCV
As we read through these verses, we can begin to understand how God considers our thoughts important. I believe it’s wise if we do the same, embracing the truth we aren’t to believe every thought. So, what can we do?
When a thought crosses our minds that isn’t healthy or honoring to God, we can simply stop that thought. We don’t have to entertain it. We don’t have to keep thinking it. I sometimes imagine lassoing the thought (I don’t know how to lasso, mind you), capturing it, then handing it over to Jesus to take. I ask the Holy Spirit each morning to control my thoughts, and I ask God to give me a mind more like His, because His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than mine.
So, what kinds of thoughts are wise to think?
Philippians 4:8 has our answer:
Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.Philippians 4:8 NIRV
Those thoughts sounds lovely, don’t they? Why not make this scripture into a prayer? Maybe something like this:
Father God, You are so good. You are faithful and full of grace and mercy. Thank You for creating me and my mind so complex. Thank You for equipping me with the ability not to believe every thought I think. Father, please give me a mind more like Yours. Holy Spirit, please control my thoughts today. Fill my mind with thoughts that are true, noble, right, and pure. Help me to think about what is lovely, worthy of respect, excellent, and worthy of praise. Help me to honor You with my thoughts today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Friend, I pray this is helpful and hopeful for you. I pray this makes a difference in your life. May God bless you today and every day!
Photo: StockSnap on Pixabay
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