dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

Changing My Mind (2 Corinthians 10:5)

on May 3, 2014

Often, my thoughts are like criminals.  They are dangerous and can’t be trusted.  They lie, steal, and harm others.  It’s easy to assume, “They are just thoughts. No one else sees or hears them.” But God does, and our conscience is affected by them.

What do we do with criminals?  The judicial system was created to expose criminal behavior and place the criminal in custody to protect mankind until the criminal could be reformed.  So it is with our thoughts.

God has been working on refining and purifying my thought life.  It feels like He has been shining a light on every thought that comes into my mind when I see someone, am in communication with someone, reading the Facebook news feed, looking in the mirror, trying on clothes, etc…  And I’ve been shocked!  Some defining thoughts that have been exposed on a regular basis are: bitterness, jealousy and envy, critical/judgmental, impure, untrue, anxious/worried, discontent, selfish, greedy, self-deprecating.  Sinful, criminal thoughts!

While doing a 30-Days of Praying for your Pastor Challenge, I came across 2 Corinthians 10:5.  This verse is quoted so often in Christian circles that honestly, I bristle when I hear it. (Cue the lightning!)  It has become cliché.  It is also used in conjunction with lust so often, that I forgot it could pertain to anything else.  But this time one command jumped off the page and into my heart.

TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO OBEY CHRIST!

EVERY THOUGHT!  I don’t know the average number of thoughts in my mind each day or what percentage are sinful, but I admit the ratio is not good.  God’s word says we need to deal with every single one!

I expend so much energy ignoring my thoughts while protecting my mouth and actions.  Why? Because that’s the part of me people see.  Those things define my reputation–how I am perceived by others.  No one knows the depth and depravity of my thoughts except me…and God who judges heart and mind. (Jeremiah 17:10)

My energies would be better placed in arresting my thoughts, imprisoning them and reforming them so they come into alignment with obedience to God.  When my thoughts are reformed, my actions and speech will automatically reform too.  Refining my thoughts eliminates hypocrisy!

Where do I start???  If our thoughts are to obey Christ, then they must obey His first and greatest commandment to love Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength.  And the second, which is like it, to love our neighbor as ourselves. LOVE!! Love conquers sin! Love reforms our thoughts! Love changes our lives!  According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

  • Love is patient and kind.
  • Love does not envy or boast.
  • Love is not arrogant or rude.
  • Love does not insist on its own way.
  • Love is not irritable or resentful.
  • Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing.
  • Love rejoices with the truth.
  • Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures ALL things.

Another step we can take to change our thoughts is to change what we think about.  Romans 12:2b says that we are to be transformed (changed) by the renewing of our minds.  Colossians 3:2 says to “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”   And Philippians 4:8 gives us a solid list of things we should think about:  “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Maybe that means taking a Facebook fast, eliminating body image/fashion/fitness/diet articles, or throwing out your scale, and spending extra time in God’s Word and prayer, (Proverbs 16:20) or meditating on His steadfast love (Psalm 48:9).  Let’s ask the Lord to make us mindful of “every thought,” admit when they are sinful, and ask for forgiveness and change.

Honestly, I’ve hesitated in writing this blog because even though I’m learning this lesson, it is not easy to put into practice.  I’ve failed miserably!  In fact, the only time I’m getting it right is between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. =)  But by God’s grace, I am more aware of my thought life and bit by bit, God is changing my heart.

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