Your Mind is Key
“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(NIV)
Apostle Paul makes a great point. He is trying to remind the Christians of His day that we should not think we live by the world’s standards(2 Cor. 10:3) that we live by a different standard and therefore do things differently and should think differently.
The mind is key. Every action, attitude, opinion, behavior, or habit we display or perform is a result of first being a thought. Our Mind is the beginning. When a thought first comes into our mind, we have 2 choices: Embrace it or Reject it. We choose where we take our thoughts. We can dismiss them, stop them, or not give them any time, or we can acknowledge them, dwell on them, mull over them, and allow them to dictate our reactions and responses.
Positive or God thoughts are good to act on, believe in, and trust. Negative, hurtful, or dishonest thoughts have no place in our lives. You see God’s voice (His spirit) dwells in those of us who are Christians. That voice tries to gently, softly, and lovingly show us the right way to think, act, and be. Unfortunately, the other voice (satan, the world, our flesh) sometimes scream a lot louder, because we give our attention to it.
If we are rejecting the voice of God and are embracing the other voice our mind will give time to these harmful thoughts which bring about insecurity, fears, jealousy, ignorance, hurt, anger, irrationality, obsession, and confusion. If we are not careful eventually over time, embracing these negative or harmful thoughts will become part of what we consider normal thoughts.
For example, someone doesn’t speak to us when we speak to them (they could not have heard us or seen us or been daydreaming), but our negative thoughts tell us they are rude, mad at us, or ignoring us intentionally. Or we hear something someone supposedly said about us, and instead of going to that person directly or giving them the benefit of the doubt until you’ve had a chance to talk to them, the negative thoughts convince you they are lying, they are untrustworthy, or they are out to get you. Or maybe you are at school or work and your negative thoughts tell you that you are working hard and you are not being treated fairly or being appreciated so you justify through your negative thoughts that it’s ok to take something that is not yours, or you decide to cheat on a test, or take something from your company because you deserve it or they owe you. Or maybe you don’t feel your significant other appreciates you or takes advantage of you, so your negative thoughts tell you it’s ok to flirt or show attention to someone else who is not your significant other. Or maybe we see someone who we think is an attractive and fun person and they are having relationship troubles and our harmful thoughts tell us that we wouldn’t treat them that way or we’d appreciate them, so we begin to find ways to spend time with them and show them we are better than their significant other. The cycle of scenarios are endless.
The point is, we have a choice to stop those negative or harmful thoughts before they give birth to negative or harmful actions, behaviors, mindsets, or consequences. We can stop the thought by admitting the person we spoke to may not have heard us or not been paying attention. We may stop the negative thoughts about hearing someone said something about us, by going to the person first before we entertain negative thoughts about the person. We can stop the negative attitude at work or school by not giving time to thoughts about cheating on tests or robbing our company of time and letting our integrity and character speak for itself. We can avoid more relationships troubles by not doing or saying anything that would break trust or be inappropriate actions. If we don’t feel appreciated by our significant other we need to talk to them about it or realize we might be part of the problem because we are spending too much time thinking about negative thoughts. Or if we need to not put ourselves in situations that are not ours to be in. If we think someone is not being treated fairly by their spouse or loved one, we can encourage them, but not with impure motives that have came from our focusing on hurtful thoughts.
Our mind is truly a place of warfare and battle. We must be careful the amount of time we give to thoughts and the amount of time we focus on thoughts that are not true, false, selfish, irrational, or not based on facts or reality. We must analyze each thought to see what the source of that thought is and then we must choose to embrace positive, true, and loving thoughts, and we must reject negative, hurtful, harmful, and untrue thoughts. It takes a lot of concentration, effort, and willingness, but we can learn to change our thought patterns and mindsets if we can learn to distinguish between God’s voice and the devil’s. They both sound like our voice.