Avoid Toxic Thoughts
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
We are created in the image of God with a mind for love and hope. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Our thoughts affect not only our words but also our mental and physical health. When we deviate from a mind of love and hope to a mind of toxic thoughts, we are going against the way God designed us and the result can negatively affect our cognitive abilities and our physical health.
Examples of toxic thoughts are fear, anger, worry, stress, and unforgiveness. Entertaining these thoughts can take away our peace, joy, and hope. If we continue with these toxic thoughts it may destroy our faith in addition to taking the joy out of our lives and causing physical problems. The more we entertain the toxic thoughts of fear and worry the more cognitively inefficient we become. “As long as these toxic thoughts dominate your mind, you will not be able to reconceptualize your memories – that is, grow new healthy thoughts.”1
The Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit will enable us to control our thoughts. 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). Satan will tempt us with toxic thoughts but we have the power to capture those thoughts and change them. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). The more we practice capturing toxic thoughts the better we will become at replacing them with encouraging, peaceful, Godly thoughts.
“It is important to remember that thoughts create your mood and influence how you feel physically.”2 Therefore, we can change how we feel by changing our thoughts. We can overcome anxiety and worry with confidence by trusting God to destroy our toxic thoughts. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1-3). Do not yield to Satan’s fear, but know all things are possible for God and his love is perfect. Therefore, put your faith in him and walk in his love and strength.
Today, refuse to entertain any toxic thoughts, but replace them with positive, Godly thoughts. We need to feel our minds with thoughts of victory in Christ. Know that the Lord, through his perfect love and power, can carry us through anything in life if we trust him. If there was anything in life that the Lord could not carry us through, then he would not ask us to have faith. The Lord knows we can overcome the world if we trust him and walk in his divine will.
Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to destroy all toxic thoughts and live with thoughts of love, peace, and joy. Fill my mind and heart with victory and replace all my toxic thoughts. Help me to walk in accordance to your divine will. Thank you for your perfect love and your willingness to guide me through life into heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen
- Dr. Caroline Leaf, Think, Learn, Succeed, (Grand Rapides, Michigan, Baker Books, 2018) pg. 70
- Ibid., pg. 56.