So, Let's Capture Those Thoughts!
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7 (NASB)
God has given us all the gift of free will. This gift empowers us to take control of the very thing that creates everything about who we are - our thought life.
In Who Switched Off My Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf PhD shares her research regarding the science of thought. She says, "Remember, our behavior follows our thoughts, not the other way around. Analyzing and addressing our thoughts are key components of conquering habits and behaviors that seem to hold us hostage. Some of us may have common symptoms of toxic thinking such as pride, anger, rebellion, self-pity, complaining and ungratefulness, while other symptoms can be as dramatic as compulsive gambling, criticizing, overeating or viewing pornography." p. 83
Dr. Leaf encourages us to capture the kind of thoughts that she labels "toxic thinking." Toxic thoughts are thoughts that trigger negative and anxious emotions, which produce biochemicals that cause the body stress.
She reminds us that the Bible speaks to this issue clearly in Philippians 4:8, which says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
We can break the cycle of toxic thinking. We can break unhealthy patterns! To help us see how, let's define terms:
True - genuine, accurate, exact
Honorable - worthy of deep admiration because of qualities or achievements
Just - morally right and fair
Pure - not mixed or adulterated
Lovely - exquisitely beautiful
Commendable - deserving praise
Excellence - exceptional, outstanding
Praise - express respect and gratitude towards
Only those who associate with God and who are given divine power can be morally excellent on this earth. Only God can free us from becoming victims of our biology.
Paul commands the Philippians "to deliberate," "to evaluate," "to meditate" on what is good and pure - in other words on the things that originate from God. In this way, Christians can renew their minds by capturing toxic thoughts and replacing them with God's truth. A mind dedicated to God's truth and focused on noble and honorable things will produce a life that can stand the test of time.
We can resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God's truth and letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors.
So, children of God, let's capture those thoughts! 2 Corinthians 10:5!