Think About Your Thoughts

20 Jul

Have you ever thought about what you think about?

No, it’s not a trick question! I’m serious…if you look back on your day, what have you spent your time thinking about?  What are the thoughts that have run through the hallway of your mind?

Mine are often consumed with a running commentary on what’s happening during the day:

  • Next I’ll do the laundry. Oh the laundry…why is that hamper always full? No matter how many loads of laundry I do, the hamper is always full! I don’t get it.
  • Next I’ll feed Amanda. I wonder how she’ll torture me this time? I really hope she doesn’t torture me.
  • It’s 6:00pm already? How did that happen?
  • I’m soooo hungry….actually I’m starving.  I wonder how many little chocolates make up a chocolate bar. One chocolate bar a day sounds reasonable.
  • It’s 11:00 already? When am I going to get to sleep? I really need some sleep!

It’s inevitable…our minds will entertain thoughts about the mundane, every day events of our lives. But if we step back and look over the course of our day, what pattern of thinking would we find? Have we spent our day complaining about our responsibilities? Festering over annoying qualities of people we’ve encountered? Grumbling about our circumstances and how we wish they had gone differently?

Here is another question. Have you ever noticed how much your thoughts impact the way you feel? How do your thoughts impact the way you speak, the way you act…in essence, the way that you live?

“…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:5

I love this verse because it reminds me that we are not victims to our thoughts. As a Christian I cannot use the excuse “I can’t help it, that’s just what came into my mind.” On the contrary as believers we have been equipped to take captive our thoughts and bring them under the authority of Christ.  Fears, doubts, complaining, jealousy…all the thoughts that are troublesome and contrary to what God wants for us….we don’t just have to sit there and have those thoughts. We can bring them under Christ’s authority and ask that He would help us have thoughts that are obedient to His word.

When I was young I used to be petrified of horror movies (actually, who am I kidding, I’m still petrified of horror movies). If something scary was on TV, I would hide my eyes with my hands, but keep my fingers slightly open, just wide enough so that I can peer through them to see when it was safe to look.  I desperately wanted to stop watching. And then one day it dawned on me.

I have the remote control.

If I don’t want to watch something, I can just change the channel. Why sit there and allow myself to be troubled? Why watch something that was frightening me so much?

Believers have the remote control to their thoughts. We can take captive our thoughts and bring them under subjection to Christ so that fear is replaced with confidence in God. Doubt can be replaced with trust. Complaining can be replaced with contentment.  Jealousy can be replaced with gratitude. That’s the power of Christ’s Spirit within us. We can take captive our thoughts and thereby determine our feelings, our actions, our conduct.

I’m reading a book by J.I. Packer called “Knowing God.” I’m still only on the second chapter, but already I’ve been struck by such an important truth. Packer reminds us that one of the evidences of knowing God is our thoughts….more specifically our thoughts about God. In his book he writes:

“Those who know God have great thoughts of God. He knows, and foreknows, all things, and his foreknowledge is foreordination; He therefore will have the last word, both in world history and in the destiny of every man; His kingdom and righteousness will triumph in the end, for neither men nor angels shall be able to thwart Him….Is this how we think of God? Is this the view of God which our own praying expresses? Does this tremendous sense of His holy majesty, His moral perfection and His gracious faithfulness keep us humble and dependent, awed and obedient..? By this test, too, we may measure how much, or how little, we know God.” (p. 29, 30)

Wow. Our thoughts are not only important because of how they affect our lives, our attitudes and even our behaviour. Ultimately our thoughts are important because they demonstrate how much, or how little we know of God.  And it was for this reason, knowing God, that we were created:

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,” Jeremiah 9:23-24

Those who know God will have high thoughts of Him. And high thoughts of God will lead to right thinking about others, responsibilities and circumstances. And right thinking about those things will lead to right conduct that brings Him glory and pleasure.

And how else could we know God were it not for the Gospel?

And so I ask the question again, “Have you ever thought about what you think about?”

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:20-24

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2 Responses to “Think About Your Thoughts”

  1. Teena July 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM #

    Awesome Dina!! So true! Thanks for all the scripture to go with it!

  2. Samia July 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

    Wonderful Dina, I am sure you had me in mind while meditating on this great issue. Thanks for the awakening.

    Ee

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