“and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5b
I woke up one morning from a dream that had already started my thoughts down a path I didn’t want to go but had been MANY times. My dream involved people and situations from my past that I try very hard not to think about because they bring about a feeling of shame. So to dream about these folks and places was like a double whammy because I had no conscious mind involved in trying to stop the progression of my thoughts. I woke up to a stomach ache and thoughts like, “Man you’ve done some stupid things.” “Wow, you’ve spent alot of time drinking.” “How did you give your heart away to someone like that?” “Nice job, you chose spending time with them over spending time with your daughter. You’re not a very good mom.” You’re not a very good person.” “God can’t really love you like you think He can.” “You simply aren’t that loveable.”
In about a 1 minute time span I spiraled down into a pit of darkness. These thoughts stirred in me negative feelings of shame, loneliness, sadness and complete and utter defeat. At the moment of my lowest, when all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and sink into the nothingness that I was certain I deserved, I realized I had a choice. I had a choice to live in this nasty place of rehashing sin and mistakes OR I had a choice to turn to God and see myself as He sees me. I had a choice to stay in darkness OR I had a choice to move into the Light. I had a choice to listen to me OR to listen to God. I chose God.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians to “take every thought captive”! That’s a powerful statement don’t you think? Take your thoughts captive! That means that when they are negative and drawing you away from God you grab them by their scrawny little arms and you say NO. No, I will not think on you. No, I will not let you drag me into darkness. No, I will not let you move me away from my God. Instead, you run to the Lord crying out for new thoughts to take their place. Thoughts like I am a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17); God loves me (John 3:16); I have God’s grace (2 Cor 12:9); I am more than a conquerer in Christ (Rom 8:37); I have been given a spirit of power, love and self discipline (2 Tim 1:7). I could go on and on.
I have come to the realization that thoughts can’t simply be removed, they have to be replaced with a new thought. In order for me to stop thinking something, I have to start thinking about something else. I’m making the choice that when I start to go down the negative road in my head I’m going to stop, turn around and start replacing those thoughts with scripture. God’s Word is so amazing! God’s Word has every answer we need and every comeback we need to go against those thoughts in our head that are hurtful. There is no value in beating ourselves up about the past sin in our lives…God doesn’t! 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins to God, He will not only forgive us but He’ll go one step further and CLEANSE us! So if I’m clean, then that means whatever it was that was left on me from my sin in gone. I stand in front of God a clean, forgiven child of His and I have no reason to start thinking about the dirt that was once on me unless I’m praising Him for removing it or sharing my story to help someone else.
When you get in a place where you are thinking badly about yourself stop and ask: have a confessed any sin and repented? If no, do it now. If yes, find scripture that trumps the thought and think on the beautiful words of God. If you can’t find a scripture on your own, ask someone to help you. My bible is loaded with little tabs all over the place so that when I’m having a moment where I need to change my thoughts and dwell on God’s word, I can reach those verses that I know change my perspective really quickly. I’m working on memorizng them so that I just have them in my head right off the bat, but that’s a little more challenging for me. I can remember the theme of the verse just not the exact words and reference. 🙂
God loves you so much and His entire Word is the story of that love. Don’t spend one extra second thinking on things that move you away from that love. If you’ve confessed your sin and repented then let go. Give your negative thoughts to God and ask Him to show you scripture you need to strengthen your spirit and your relationship with Him. Thinking negatively is easier, I know that, but it’s not good for you so don’t do it. God wants to live with you in every moment of your life so think on Him.
If you need prayer email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to partner with you in prayer as you seek God.
Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy,