But other days … the birds are fighting crows, the sun is hidden by clouds, the flowers are under a metre of snow, and the sky is dark and threatening.
It is so easy to succumb to those days and embrace those brooding thoughts. One toxic thought has a thousand nasty neighbours so what do you do with all that? What does it mean to take every thought captive? Humour me without judgement as I decipher this in my mind.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philipians 4:8 NIV
Ouch, that does not describe my thought life every day. I pondered over my thoughts today. My mind is filled with a lot of things. I am thinking about my ladies group study and spiritual things like – what should I serve for snack, and should I make the effort to get that cobweb that is hanging from the light fixture before they come? I am fussing about getting my storage room cleaned out, my husband’s high stress job, and my aging knees. I am worrying about my kids, their university papers, their happiness, and their futures. Two thoughts later I see dirty windows and wonder if there is gas in the van? What should I make for supper? I need to get groceries. Then I brood over the sad stories I heard at work this week. This is all in a 10 minute time frame for crying out loud. Can anyone relate? Humour me, anyone?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT
Good and pleasing and perfect, oh oh! I was having a mental argument in my mind about a person who was very rude to my co-worker. I had a really clever defence in my mind afterwards, in spite of the fact that I had been speechless at the time. It is especially hard when we have been hurt by someone. When we have been wounded we often have this continuous argument in our minds (which we of course are always winning).
… whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble …
I was also thinking less than kind words about the person who zoomed in front of me and stole my parking space. JERK!! Oh, did I say that out loud?!
… whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure …
The ugly head of inadequacy and low self esteem often presents itself when Jeff and I speak publically together. Satan whispers, “who do you think you are? You don’t have anything to say that can benefit anyone. Why would they want to listen to you?!” Writing this blog post today he hissed, “you are wasting your time. No one will read it and nobody cares.”
… whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are admirable …
I have days at work where I cannot keep up. I keep falling behind and making mistakes. I can not do anything right. Do you feel some days like the whole world is angry with you and you no one is pleased with you for anything? You know, the basic poor me pity party days; the days when invading melancholy thoughts take up residence in both brain hemispheres.
… whatsoever things are excellent, whatsoever things are praiseworthy …
I made a decision to work on this “taking every thought captive” process. What does that really mean? It means work I tell ya. The enemy of our soul loves the chaos that he can create in our minds. So how do we do it? I say “we” because I am fairly certain that you struggle with this once in a while. Do you? Each day that I commit my thought life to the lover of my soul I do better, and with His help each time a negative thought enters my mind, I snag it and reject it. Notice I said with HIS help. It is a continuous process at first as we make new habits. Sometimes I find myself saying right out loud “stop that, or NO” when unhealthy thoughts invade. People look at you funny but they will get over it. Clearing away the potential toxic wasteland of our minds is a daily, sometimes moment by moment decision. It is a choice. Easy huh? Nope, didn’t say that! But it is something that God will help us with. He is on our side. He desires that we have a healthy thought life and healthy minds.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV
Oh, there is some hope – my rock and my redeemer! He is the solid rock that I can rely on. He is our redeemer and He can redeem our thought life as well so that our words and minds can be pleasing to Him. So that is what I am working on these days. Anybody else wanna try? I challenge you! How about this promise so we know we are not alone in this process:
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philipians 4:13
Remember the source of our strength. I wish you well. Let me know how you are doing!
By Cyndi den Otter (C)
November 25, 2011
Copyright 2011 November 25 Cyndi den Otter – All Rights Reserved May be used with author’s permission