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Our thoughts create our reality. Maybe not literally, but our perceptions of the world are built around our thoughts.
For instance, you might think someone doesn’t like you.
Because you think this way, it’s going to start affecting your thoughts and behavior. Every time you’re around this person, you’ll start focusing on finding things to validate this thought.
Before learning about how to control your thoughts, I didn’t think it was possible.
How was I supposed to control a thought? Did I really create these thoughts in my mind?
It is possible to control your thoughts. In fact, it’s biblical.
These are your questions, answered.
What does it mean to take every thought captive?
There is one particular passage people refer to when talking about taking every thought captive.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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 10:3-5 NIV).
Friends, we’re in a spiritual battle. This battle starts with our minds. Are our minds prepared for this spiritual warfare?
Taking every thought captive means to dissect every thought you have. I know it seems complex, but it’s not as hard as you might think.
Keep reading to learn more.
What’s the point of taking every thought captive?
Taking every thought captive is really powerful and can do a lot of positive things for your life.
This is not only biblical but scientific. According to neuroscientists, it is possible to control your thoughts.
Many think your emotions dictate your thoughts but it’s actually the other way around. Your thoughts dictate your emotions which dictate your actions. It all starts with our thoughts.
So, the way you control your emotions and actions biblically is by taking every thought captive. This is where our battle begins—in our minds.
What does the Bible say about control?
Since taking every thought captive seems to be about controlling your thoughts, let’s start with what the Bible says about control.
Bible Verses About Controlling Your Thoughts
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, 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” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:18-19 NIV).
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual, immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly” (Mark 7:20-22 NIV).
Does negative thinking affect the brain?
Negative thinking does affect our brains. If you think negatively consistently, your brain will become better at picking up on negative things.
You’re essentially teaching your brain to think negatively.
This can cause health problems. A recent study found that negative thinking increases your risk of dementia.
Negative thinking can also cause depression, anxiety, sadness, headaches, and other health risks.
What causes negative thinking?
Negative thinking comes from within us.
For most, it’s learned thinking from your childhood or past. In your past, you went through some experiences that made you develop your line of thinking.
Our brains are supposed to protect us. These thoughts are supposed to serve us.
For example, you may have gotten hurt by someone in the past. This causes you to put your guard up. However, this may also come with negative thoughts and triggers in the future. You might develop thoughts that others will hurt you too.
Is it a sin to have negative thoughts?
Negative thinking is very common. We all struggle with it.
Although it is common, it is a sin to have negative thoughts, especially when you’re allowing them to fester.
You can control your thoughts so you should be working toward changing these thoughts into positive ones.
For instance, you may have thoughts of not being loved by God. These thoughts are lies. In this situation, you’d be listening and trusting your thoughts rather than God. God tells you you’re loved by Him.
How can I take every thought captive?
Finally, I know you’ve been wondering what steps you can take to control your thoughts. Here are a few steps you can take to help you take every thought captive.
#1 Calm your mind.
Every morning, find time to calm your mind. It could be 5-10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be long.
A few ways to calm your mind:
- Practice meditation
- Sit in silence and relax
- Listen to soothing music
- Take a warm bath
#2 Write down your negative thoughts whenever you have them.
Whenever you have a negative thought, write it down. You might forget a few times, but try to be consistent about it.
Do this over the course of a week. As you do this, you’ll realize many of your thoughts are similar.
#3 Now, write down positive counterparts to those negative thoughts.
Tackle each negative thought by writing a positive counterpart to it. Add a positive emotion to it as well.
Here’s an example:
Negative thought: “I’m an annoying person. People don’t like me”
Positive counterpart: “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made by God. God made me the way I am and brings people around me that appreciate who I am. I’m grateful and blessed”
Attaching a positive emotion brings the positive statement to life.
Once you’ve written down all your positive statements, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
#4 Practice replacing your negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Whenever you think negatively, make a conscious choice to stop that thought and replace it with a positive thought.
Use the ones you wrote down as a guide.
It takes time to rewire the script in your mind so don’t expect automatic results. You need to be consistent for a while before your brain is trained to think more positively.
It typically takes a couple of months. It may seem difficult, but it is possible! If you implement these steps, you’ll be on your way to taking every thought captive.
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