What are you thinking about right now? I know, you’re reading this blog, but before you started reading, what was the last thought that was on your mind? Maybe you were thinking about a movie you saw, or about a bill that needs to be paid, perhaps a memory from your childhood, or a restaurant you want to try.
Wasn’t it Dr. Seuss who said, “Oh the thinks we can think!” The possibilities are literally endless! Our brains have amazing, God-given capabilities to ponder, dream and create. But not all thoughts can be trusted, and we shouldn’t believe everything we think.
A friend of mine was trying to get in better shape, so he started going jogging every day. Well, of course, it was a struggle at first. He really dreaded getting up and heading out for a run. The physical struggle was real, but he noticed his thoughts while running had become so negative too. “I’m really no good at this. Everyone around me is so much faster and more fit. I hate the way I look in running shorts.” And on and on….
He realized that half the battle (maybe MORE than half?) was getting his mind in shape, as well as his body. So he started running with a rubber band on his wrist. Every time he caught himself thinking a negative thought, he would snap the rubber band against his skin. “I’m really no good at this.” SNAP! “Everyone around me is so much…” SNAP! “I hate the way I look…” SNAP!
Well, after a few minutes of that, his wrist was stinging and he got the point. He started to cut the negative thoughts off at the pass. He’d stop himself before the thought took root in his mind. Eventually, his jogs became a more peaceful endeavor, where he spent time enjoying the process and feeling good about the fact that he was working hard to improve his physical health.
The Apostle Paul knew all too well the struggle for victory over our thoughts. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 he writes, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Did you catch it?…”EVERY thought.’
If you’re not careful, your thought life will take a negative turn in a hurry. Satan loves to get in our heads with all sorts of negative thoughts that fix our focus on our own shortcomings, failures, and faults. Romans 8:6 sums it up perfectly, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Doesn’t that sound awesome? I want my thought life to be marked by life and peace!
Let’s spend some time this week really taking hold of our thoughts and submitting them to the lordship of Jesus, who IS truth and life (John 14:6).
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.“ -Phillipians 4:8