Controlling Our Thoughts

thoughtsOn occasion I have the most terrible thoughts cross my mind. Sometimes it has to do with anger, other times lust or covetousness. These thoughts creep into my mind and if I expel them quickly, I consider it a victory. But, unfortunately, far too often these thoughts linger and want to be fed. The key, according to the Bible, is setting my mind on something else.

Philippians 4:8 … Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Seems simple enough. We need to discover true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise thoughts to contemplate.

Where do we discover these things? If we are walking with Jesus, reading the Word of God and praying to our Lord, that’s a good start.

  1. Walking with Jesus.

What path does Jesus want us to travel? We need to constantly be asking ourselves this question. If I am sitting in front of my computer for no particular purpose, I need to ask myself is this activity in line with what Jesus wants for my life?

Romans 12:2 … Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  1. Slowing down and focusing.

Focusing our minds on what it is we truly wish to accomplish, whether it be something as mundane as just relaxing or engaging in some harmless entertainment. It is focus that allows us to avoid straying into dangerous territory.

Studies show that the brain gets its trigger and releases its chemicals, 90 seconds later the chemicals are flushed and the physiological impact has faded. (1)  So if we can just ride it out for 90 seconds there is hope.

Psalm 46:10 … He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
  1. Avoiding our danger zones

When we struggle with a particular sin, we are all too aware of where we must not go. Those who struggle with alcohol should avoid bars, those who struggle gambling should avoid casinos, and those who struggle with lust should avoid everywhere.  While this is a slight exaggeration, sex addicts do need to avoid many places, such as sites on the internet, things on TV, movies, being around attractive people in public and private, etc.

2 Timothy 2:22 … So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
1 Corinthians 6:18 … Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
  1. Meditate on God’s Word

When we take time to step away from the cares of this world and spend time in Scripture, we feed our soul and our mind with spiritual food. It helps to refocus our attention away from our lustful desires and on strengthening our faith.

2 Corinthians 10:5 … We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
Galatians 5:16-18 … But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

These are but a few ways to renew our minds and cleanse our thoughts. Ultimately, the goal as Christians should be to seek to grow closer to the Lord and He will lead us further and further away from the sin in our lives.

Colossians 3:5 … Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Finally, while we who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are free from the punishment that all sin deserves …

Romans 8:1 … There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

… if we are truly saved, it will be evident in our lives and in our desire to turn away from the former evil desires of our hearts.

Acts 3:19 … Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out





~ a BeFreeinChrist writing ~