Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Train Your Thoughts

My mind can take some big jumps. It goes off on tangents and exaggerates and fills in the blanks with its imagination. If I thought I could get by without it, I'd fire it! Seriously though, my thoughts can cause me big problems! God gave us our minds with all their abilities and He also commands us to control our thoughts.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.                       2 Corinthians 10: 3-5
We are also told in Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind by in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." God wants our thoughts to honor Him and benefit us.  God even gives us a checklist to measure our thoughts by in Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise, think on these things." So what do we do when our thoughts don't measure up? Cast them out!

Easier said than done, right? We need to have something to replace our wrong thoughts. When I am struggling with fear, worry, criticism, anger, or some other thought that doesn't line up with God's Word, I can replace it. Here are some things I use to replace wrong thoughts.

1. The Bible! Read it. When you absolutely can't get something out of your head, go read your Bible. If you are paying attention you will not be able to think those things at the same time. Memorize it. Find verses that apply to what you are struggling with and learn them. Then you can quote it to yourself if you can't get to your Bible.

2. Sermons. I listen to sermons frequently while going about my work around the house. Not only are you concentrating on that instead of your wrong thoughts, but the Scripture will be changing your life at the same time.

3. Good music. Listen to music that uplifts and encourages you. There are plenty of songs that remind us of God's attributes and abilities.

4. Praise. Stop whatever you are thinking and start praising God. Thank Him for everything He's given you. Do this multiple times a day.

5. Pray. God can handle your emotions. You can tell Him your fears. You can tell Him how someone hurt your feelings. You can tell Him the things that make you mad. You don't have to tell everybody else. And then you can leave those things with God.

I also try very hard to be careful what I put into my mind. I watch very little television. My husband and I typically watch some show that we carefully pick out and that's about it. I don't watch the news. I'm careful about what music I listen to and what books I read.

Let's try to line our thoughts up to God's Word this week and see how it affects our lives!

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