Guiding Scripture: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
🔴 Are You Taking Your Thoughts Captive?
It happens to the best of us—that moment when you find yourself aimlessly scrolling on your phone, or scanning Netflix for something new to watch, or even just letting your mind wander while you stare off into the distance. We’ve all been there. Daydreaming is one thing, but most people have no idea how out of control their thought lives are in general. And that’s a big problem because your thoughts influence virtually every aspect of your life in some way. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”
So, how do we get our thought lives in order? As our guiding Scripture says, we need to “take every thought captive” that goes against the nature of God. In other words, it starts with being intentional; we must think about what we’re thinking.
One of the most effective ways I’ve found to do that is by conducting what I call a “thought audit.” Here’s how it works:
- Pay attention to what you are receiving and why. That includes all types of media, both informative and entertainment-based. To what kind of music do you listen? What kind of news do you consume? How does it make you feel when you hear it? There’s a difference between being informed and being influenced. Influence begins when the information affects your mood.
- Pay attention to who you are listening to and why. Consider the different voices you hear throughout your day, i.e., podcasters, social media influencers, coworkers, etc. How do you feel when you listen to them? Are they uplifting you or bringing you down? Philippians 4:8 instructs us, “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.”
- Be willing to course-correct if your thought life gets off track. Despite our best efforts, we’re human, and we all have moments of weakness (especially during a year that’s as chaotic as 2020). The key is to recognize when that happens and adjust. Read the Bible to help you reestablish a Godly perspective. Seek God in prayer and repent. Talk to other Christ-followers who can encourage you and help you regain your focus.
As I like to tell my children, “You can’t always control the thoughts that come into your head, but you can control whether or not they stay there.” At the end of the day, you have to choose where to focus your mind, and God has given you the power to do it.
Try conducting a “thought audit” of your thought life this week. You might be surprised at what you discover.
~Lisa C. Gant