Your Thoughts Matter
“The psalmist says “I have set the LORD always before me.” Paul says, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” They speak to the need for our souls to be completely and thoroughly with God. But as both of these verses suggest, it does not happen automatically. “Set” and “take captive” are active verbs, implying that you have a role in determining where your soul rests.” ― John Ortberg
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. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
What we think about matters. I spend a lot of time in my own head. I’m very introspective. But, I am sometimes reckless with my thoughts. Sometimes, I allow my thoughts to be overly negative or highly critical of others. If I am not careful, my thoughts can be prideful, arrogant, and firmly in the "holier than thou category." When I was 15 I became a Christian. At that time I discovered my need for Jesus when the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that I was very self-righteous and tended to look down on a lot of people who weren’t as “good” as I believed myself to be. It has gotten much better over the years, but it is still a work in progress. It has gotten better in part because I have taken seriously Paul’s direction to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ”. As I continue to take an active role in directing my thought life, I find that God is at work shaping and changing my thought life to be aligned with what he would have me think about. As I said, I’m still working on it, but the good news is that God is too.
If you are struggling with your thought life, I'd like to encourage you to remember it can get better. God will change you how you think over time, but it takes some intention on our part. That means when we find ourselves thinking things we know that we shouldn't, we pray that God would remove those thoughts and replace them with thoughts that are more in alignment with his will and heart. It also means that we have to make conscious choices to not dwell on negative or critical thoughts. We must also be mindful of our attitude and affections toward others. If our attitude is positive and our love for others is where it should be, we are much less likely to think critically or negatively about them.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the work that you have already done in helping me to take my thoughts captive and how you have helped me change how I think. Help me to clearly see any thoughts that are displeasing to you, to repent, to cast them aside, and to take Philippians 4:8 seriously when Paul says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”. Amen.