I don’t think enough about how I think. Throughout the day I carry on dozens of conversations in my head and entertain a host of passing thoughts that range from dull to dangerous. Proverbs 4:23 compares the heart to the headwaters of a river or the groundwater of a spring:
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
The proverb has always been vivid to me probably because I grew up hearing environmental lessons about how factory pollution was causing acid rain and killing our planet. So I can picture a clean, pure spring being poisoned at its source and affecting everything that flows from it.
It’s a clear warning to guard your heart but leaves me unclear about how to actually do it. 2 Corinthians 10:5 gets more specific:
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
Here I can see it more clearly. It’s like you’re taking your thoughts prisoner and submitting them to Christ. There’s an implicit encouragement to deal with your thoughts, evaluate them and compare them to God’s Word. But I’m often slow in doing that. That’s why I was helped by Caitlin Jordan’s article at www.iamsecond.com. She starts with some of the thoughts she battles in her struggle with the alarm clock and moves on to some of the more dangerous ones that affect her. Consciously or not, she paints the picture of the toxic spring:
And when these little lies are whispering, sometimes screaming, at me all day long, they begin to control me. While they begin as little lies, they start feeding off of each other and grow into what I perceive as truth. Then, those “truths” begin to determine my mood. My mood begins to determine my actions. And what originated as some silly, insecure thought is now affecting my relationship with my husband, my friends, and my family.
We often emphasize the importance of taking in God’s truth but can forget her reminder that little and not so little lies are “whispering, sometimes screaming” at us all day long. Jordan gives three simple reminders about what to do with our thoughts and how to take them captive to Christ.
1. Realize that your thoughts are not always true.
2. Do not allow those thoughts to quietly marinate inside your brain. Get them out before they grow into life-sucking monsters. Tell someone.
3. Sit down, grab a Bible, and find God.
In her article, she gives more details on each one. I’ve experienced the truth of all three of these steps but can skip them also and ignore the help God provides. Like my arguments with the alarm clock, I lose too many conversations that I fail to talk out with someone else. But ultimately I need to hear another voice. I need the help that only God’s Word can bring.
How is your reading of God’s Word? If you’ve been tracking with me and The Bible Project’s chronological reading plan I recommended, you’re coming through 1 & 2 Chronicles right now and are almost finished the Old Testament. If you’ve given up or gotten lost along the way, why not join back in August 23 as we start the New Testament in the book of Matthew?
While you’re at it, check out Caitlin Jordan’s article in its entirety here: http://www.iamsecond.com/2016/04/three-ways-to-stop-believing-your-own-lies/
In awe of Him,