I confess I wrestle the most with sin in my thought life. It is the root of my feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, discontentment, critical nature, lack of confidence, pride, worry, fear, callousness, etc. Simply knowing that we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) is a huge step in the right direction. Beth Moore addresses the importance of our thought lives in her Bible study Breaking Free and in many of her other writings (such as So Long Insecurity). In a nutshell, she says to recognize the lies we tell ourselves, take them captive by switching them to what God thinks about those thoughts, and replace the lies with the truth. When we wallpaper our minds with God’s Word, we more easily recognize the lies and can replace them with truth.
Transformation in my thought life still seems to have a long way to go. However, I just read a book that inspired me to keep pushing forward in this battle of the mind. I do not necessarily agree with all of Joyce Meyer’s theology, but she gives some extremely practical advice on how to live out our faith. In her book Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind, I discovered some new ways to apply the ability to take thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.
First, she reminds us that we are not to allow our minds to go just wherever they please. Rather, when they go a direction they should not go, we should develop a habit of meditating on God’s Word and Truths. I may not be able to change all my thinking at one time, but working on one specific area, like fear, will further me on the road to victory. My top 5 favorite “power thoughts” that I want to speak to myself repeatedly are:
· “I will not live in fear” – When my children hop in the car to take a trip without me, instead of visualizing every accident that could happen, I will try to mediate on faith and trust in God.
· “I am difficult to offend and quick to forgive” – When someone ignores something I said, instead of feeling offended, I will presume their mind is somewhere else or they didn’t understand. I will refuse to criticize or think bad thoughts about others and instead choose to have mercy, just as I would hope they would have toward me.
· “I am content and emotionally stable” – When I feel like life is heavy and I want to crumble into tears, I remember that God has made me a woman of strength and that He is my refuges and will hold me up.
· “I am disciplined and self-controlled” – When I pass by the office candy jar, I don’t have to grab a handful of chocolates. Instead of thinking that I need them, I will choose to think of myself as being disciplined and self-controlled.
· “I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ” – When I have to accomplish a task that seems overwhelming, just reminding myself that it is a task that Jesus wants me to accomplish and will give me what I need to do it propels me.
Because our thoughts impact every aspect of our lives, we are to take responsibility for them as Jesus works simultaneously in our hearts to transform us. Reminding myself that I am a woman of faith weakens fear and adds courage, boldness, confidence, peace, and energy.
Most of all, Jesus Christ must be the center of our thinking and our identity. He will honor our efforts to renew our thinking by transforming us into becoming more like Him.