By Dr. Randy Carlson
Paul instructs us in 2 Corinthians to take captive every thought out of obedience to Christ. If you study that passage, it’s really not so much about just taking captive my own thoughts, but also helping the church. The truth was being destroyed around them. Paul was saying help people take captive the truth of the gospel. We need a way to catch our thoughts to make sure they are in alignment with what Scripture teaches.
I find most often my first thoughts are wrong, especially when I’m emotional. We even use a little phrase: “On second thought…” No matter how deeply we immerse ourselves into God’s intentional love, our humanness rises to the surface and can cause us to have those first thoughts, going back to the way we used to think.
If I can deal with my thinking, I can deal with half of my problems. Sometimes I imagine the enemy standing back and saying, “That guy’s thinking is so messed up. I don’t need to add to it. He’s doing the job himself.”
We read about God’s goodness and love, and his promise that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” but sometimes we really don’t believe it because it’s not consistent with the way we think. We hear it and we want to believe it. We may even say we believe it, but it’s hard for us to really accept it as the truth.
The Apostle Paul reminds us here that one of the solutions to no longer being your own worst enemy is to have thought catchers. Here are some thought catchers I believe will help:
- Is the thought I have helpful?
- Is the thought I have true?
- Is the thought I’m thinking right now going to glorify God?
In Philippians 4, Paul also said we should focus on thoughts of whatever is true and right and admirable and praiseworthy and of good report. For me, it’s important to always stop and think on that second thought. The first thought is a hard one to control, but if I take a moment and say to the Holy Spirit, “I’m going to count to ten. On second thought, I know this is the truth,” and act on that second thought—not the first one.
I pray the Lord will help you to use those thought catchers that will be focused on His truth.
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