What Do You Think About?
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.Proverbs 23:7
Our hearts are revealed by our thoughts and God listens to our hearts. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Our lives are governed by our thoughts and we reveal ourselves to God through our thoughts. Does God give us the ability to control our thoughts and emotions? And how would life be if we could control our thoughts and emotions?
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) The Lord is telling us in this verse to think about such things, which must mean that he enables us to choose 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) This verse tells us to change our thoughts to be obedient to Christ. Therefore, if the Lord tells us to choose our thoughts and tells us to change our thoughts, then we must have the power through Christ to control what we think about. We must have the power to monitor our thoughts and change them.
Changing and/or controlling our emotions can be more difficult than changing our thoughts. We are attacked by Satan primarily through our emotions, and victory comes when we immediately capture the emotion, even before we respond. If we entertain the emotion, it gets stronger and can easily override our ability to control the actions that follow. This is a process of self-control, and there are many people that never developed self-control in their youth, making it difficult to learn self-control later in life. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
To gain self-control, (1) decide that you will handle all situations with Godly wisdom, and (2), know that anger only makes the situation worse for everyone involved. Plant these truths firmly in your mind. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19) Practice self-control and pray that God will give you self-control. Be slow to speak, and seek to speak with Godly wisdom. Anger only excites the other person to battle, but wisdom opens the heart to listen to Godly reasoning.
The God-given ability to control our thoughts and emotions helps us to control how we feel, and can help us in all of our relationships. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2) We can rewire our brains by controlling our thoughts. When this happens, new, Godly thoughts will replace sinful and troubling worldly thoughts. Our brains rewire based on our thoughts; what we think about most takes up the most real-estate and what we think about least takes up the least real-estate. God is molding us to have the mind of Christ, which means our brains are rewiring to Godly thoughts and to Godly emotions. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)
When we control our thoughts, we renew ourselves to have the mind and emotions of Christ; this leads us to feel more content and relaxed. Life is better from within our souls, and we start seeing the world through the eyes of God.
Today take control of your thoughts and don’t allow the world to place negative thoughts into your mind. Be in control through the Spirit and know that you have the power to overcome the world by controlling your thoughts.
Let’s pray: Lord thank you for giving me the power to control my thoughts and emotions. Help me to overcome the attacks of Satan, such as with fear and anger. Help me to be still inside, and to respond to the world with your wisdom and with a confident heart of love and peace. In Jesus name, Amen