Discover How to Control Your Thoughts
Our brain is our most powerful organ, which makes our mind a significant part of us. That’s how God created us. With our mind we can accomplish much, but through it is also the potential to lead us into wrong thinking, guide us into sin, and take us away from God. That’s why we must strive to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Yet most people struggle to control their thoughts. Here are three encouragements from Scripture to guide us in how we can take every thought captive.
1. Set Our Hearts and Minds on Things Above
Jesus warns that from our heart can come evil thoughts. He lists murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander (Matthew 15:19). But this doesn’t mean our hearts are always set on evil, we can establish our attention on what is good too.
Paul says to focus on what is above—on heavenly things where Jesus resides with Father God—and not on earthly concerns (Colossians 3:1).
After telling us to set our hearts on heavenly things, Paul adds a parallel element. He also says the set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2).
Our hearts and our minds connect, with the priority of our heart directing the focus of our mind. What our heart yearns for, our thoughts take us there.
2. Think About Right Things
To the church in Philippi, Paul tells them to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). These are 8 things we should think about.
If we’re contemplating these positive ideas, we’re not thinking about the opposite ones that Jesus listed and we already covered: murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander (Matthew 15:19).
3. Fix Our Hearts on Jesus
We’re best to follow the advice we find in the book of Hebrews, to fix our thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1). He is the ultimate of all heavenly things, of all things above. He exemplifies whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
This Is How to Take Every Thought Captive
When we do these things—set our hearts and minds on things above, think about what is good, and fix our hearts on Jesus—we prepare ourselves to guard our tongue and control what we say.
In this way, we can watch our words and exercise caution over what we say. And it starts when we take every thought captive.
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.