Taking Our Thoughts Captive
“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.”
– Philippians 4:8
When I was first married, I participated in a Bible Study that centered around Philippians 4:8 and it changed my life! That’s not an overly dramatic statement–it’s the truth. I wasn’t a negative person, but I often let my mind think of negative possible consequences. I also played the “comparison game” and looked at what others had and let myself feel jealousy. Or I would allow myself to camp out in self-pity when things didn’t go my way. But, then I studied this verse in the Bible that said to think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. That’s a pretty tall order. I learned to look at a thought and ask myself if it was based in truth, if it was based in excellence, etc. and I found that often it wasn’t! I was determined to change that.
The Bible even tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we can take every thought captive to obey Christ. That’s pretty crazy! Even before a thought becomes an action, we can make sure it falls in line with Christ’s teaching. And the key to doing that is being intentional. When a negative thought comes to mind, we can ask ourselves if that thought is true. Sometimes we don’t even have to look at the rest of the list! Right away, we can see that our thought is based on a lie from the enemy or the thought is a worry or a concern about something that could possibly happen, but isn’t true as of right now.
Next, we can look at the thought and ask ourselves if it’s honorable to the Lord. Is it just? Is it a pure thought–one I’d be proud for someone else to hear? Is it lovely, commendable, excellent, or praiseworthy? If you get to a “no” answer, then it’s time for us to figure out if we can take that thought captive and change our thinking!
Life is not always happy. Struggles exist. But this verse doesn’t ask us if the things we think about are happy! It asks us to make sure they honor the Lord. It’s not something I’ve mastered! But it’s a lifelong goal to live out this verse!
PRAY: Lord, help me to take every thought captive. Help me to look at my thoughts through the measure of Your Word and move forward in truth and love. Help me focus on You and Your promises instead of my own self-centered desires and fears. I love You and I love how You care for me in every circumstance. Amen
First Baptist Broken Arrow