Bible Insights

Do We Allow the World to Control Our Thoughts?

The Holy Spirit Gives Us a Sound Mind to Counter Fear

Through the Holy Spirit we have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Sound mind means self-discipline, self-control, sound judgment, and wise discretion.

We can claim all these as the Holy Spirit’s provision to us. In doing so we can direct our thoughts and not live a life controlled by worldly fear that produces irrational behavior.

Instead the Holy Spirit equips us to make sound judgments and not panic in the midst of pandemonium. Here are some ideas to guide us in this.

Focus Our Thinking

Paul encourages the church in Philippi to focus their thoughts (Philippians 4:8). We should do this too. But what should we think about? Fortunately, Paul gives a list:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, and whatever is excellent or praiseworthy.

We are to think of these things and dismiss the opposite.

Focus on Spiritual Things

In writing to the church in Colossi, Paul tells them to place their concentration on spiritual thoughts instead of worldly opinions (Colossians 3:2).

The world—with all its worries and disruptions—seeks to distract us from God.

We counter these distractions by tuning out earthly things and tuning in on godly ideals.

Focus on God’s Power

John also has some recommendations for us. He reminds us that we are children of God. As his children, our heritage comes through him. He has overcome evil, and as his children we can overcome evil too.

Contrary to what many believe, God and Satan are not equal but opposing forces. God is the creator, while Satan is part of creation. God is greater than the devil. And God is in us.

Through him we can overcome the opposition (1 John 4:4).

Let us not forget that we are on the winning side.

Focus on Making Our Thoughts Obedient to God

A final consideration comes from Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. Here Paul writes that we are to fight against any notions that are contrary to God.

We do this by taking every thought captive and forcing it to submit to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Final Thoughts

Though the world tries to pull us down, we are on the winning side, and the Bible shows how we can reorient our thoughts from the wrong thinking of the world to the right thinking of God.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Philippians 1-4, and today’s post is on Philippians 4:8.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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