Our thoughts matter. While I cannot control every thought that comes into my mind, I do not have to entertain it. I can choose to entertain it, or, I can choose to refuse it entry to the gate of my mind. You have the same choice.
I am not promoting a mystical, new age experience. What I am presenting to you is a Biblical practice. Controlling my thought life is part of allowing my old nature to die and my new nature in Christ to come alive (Romans 6 and Romans 12:2).
Guard Your Thoughts
1 Peter 1:13 instructs me to gird up the loins of my mind. In other words, guard my thinking. The verse continues instructing me to be sober. In this case, sobriety is not just an absence of alcohol, but it is being alert. You and I must be alert to the type of thinking we entertain.
For example, I can be convinced that a friend is upset with me because she has not called or texted in a few days. My mind can roll back through conversations that I had with her when we last spoke. I can convince myself that she has misunderstood something I have said or done. At this point, I have a choice. Either I can continue the irrational thinking that leads to illogical conclusions, or, I can call or text her to see if she is okay.
What if she is upset with me? Even if she is angry at me, entertaining the worst possible scenario only leads to torment which is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit the Holy Spirit brings is peace (Galatians 5:22-23). Continuing on a path of this type of thinking leads to confusion, and God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Checking on my friend through a visit, call, or text message is the best approach.
Thoughts Determine Actions
A cold-blooded murderer does not simply wake up one morning and decide to take a life with no thought beforehand of the deed. He or she has devised and calculated a plan. Time has been taken for careful preparation.
A person having an extra-marital affair does not suddenly cheat on his or her spouse with no sign of trouble. Thinking about how much better life would be with someone else, magnifying one’s faults, and other thought patterns lead to acts such as these.
Taking ungodly thoughts captive at the onset will prevent much heartache later. Unbelievers do not know to practice this biblical concept, but believers should know what to do. Do not allow such thoughts to take hold. Take them captive and replace them with biblical thinking as soon as possible. If needed, seek help from a trusted Christian friend or pastor.
You Have a Choice
If you notice that you are out of sorts or that your attitude is horrible, it is always a good idea to assess your thinking. What has been on your mind? What occupies your thinking? How do you feel when you entertain this type of thinking? Asking these questions can give you a quick answer as to the reason for most negative attitudes.
Certainly, I am not suggesting that changing your thinking will bring everything you want in life, I am suggesting that allowing God control of your thought life can change your attitude and outlook on life. Changing the way you think, if that change is needed, can change relationships. You can develop more peace of mind and joy in the Holy Spirit by refusing to give just any thought access beyond the gate of your mind.