Oftentimes, we don’t really think about what we’re thinking and two problems arise when we do that.
We accept any thought that comes into our minds.
And #2, we fail to realize that we have control over our thoughts.
We know that we don’t have to accept any thought that pops into our mind, or fall into the belief that we have no power over our thoughts, because the Bible gives us very clear instructions on how believers should think. Specifically, today I want to share with you 3 types of thoughts the Bible warns against.
#1 Anxious Thoughts
The first type of thought the Bible warns against are anxious thoughts. A lot of the worry we experience first starts in our minds, and oftentimes is rooted in our own lack of control. This is why the Bible is straightforward about worry with a simple directive: don’t do it. Here is what Jesus had to say about worry:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31-34 ESV)
As believers who are children of God and joint heirs with Christ, we are called not to worry because of our connection to God. Jesus says “the pagans worry about such things.” When we trust our Heavenly Father, we don’t have to worry about those things. God will take care of His children.
Our inability to trust God with the things He knows that we need reminds me of my kids. They are always asking “are we going to eat?” “Are you going to feed us?” And I think to myself when have I ever not fed you? You’re going to eat like you always do. The same is true for us. God is going to take care of us like He always has, so there is no need to worry. Jesus called us to focus our thoughts and attention on today and trust Him with tomorrow.
#2 Worldly Thoughts
The second type of thought the Bible warns against are worldly thoughts. Romans 8:5-6 tells us:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6 ESV)
This type of worldly thinking is super prevalent in our hustle culture that feeds into the lie that our significance and satisfaction is found in the things of this world whether it be money, status, following, our looks, the opinions of others, or anything that we make an idol. But we are called to set our minds on the things of the Spirit, on the things of God.
When the world says you need so many followers to be significant, the truth says I am intimately known and loved by the God of the universe. (Jeremiah 1:5)
When the world says you need to hustle and work to no end, Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 ESV)
When the world says you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough, the Gospel preaches that God thought enough of us to send His Son to die on our behalf that we may be saved.
I’m not going to lie to you; the things of this world will temporarily satisfy, and distract you from the hardships of living in this world, but they cannot fulfill you. We are eternal beings that can not be completely satisfied in this temporary world, but to think that can only lead to destruction. When we set our minds on the truth that it is God who can truly fulfill us, we find life and peace.
#3 Arguments against God / Deceptive Thoughts
The third type of thought the Bible warns against are arguments or imaginations against God and His truth. These are deceptive thoughts that counter the truth of the Gospel. These types of beliefs were prevalent in the early Church which is why in much of the New Testament, you’ll read the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented over and over again because the believers at that time, were bombarded with all types of beliefs that were contrary to the truth of God and essentially trying to discredit the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In light of all this going on, Paul tells believers in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV)
The strongholds that Paul is talking about are beliefs and thought patterns against the truth of God. If we choose to act on these lies, then we behave in ways that are contrary to someone saved, set free, and redeemed in Christ.
During the early church, believers had to combat beliefs that Jesus wasn’t the son of God, that only other religions held secret truths or knowledge, or Jesus wasn’t really resurrected.
Today we combat beliefs that God’s not real, you can control your own destiny with your mind, you don’t need God, God’s not worth your devotion, or you only need love, we don’t need God. Colossians 2:8 warns us:
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 ESV)
Thoughts not in line with the truth of Christ need to be taken captive and destroyed, because wherever the truth of the Gospel is suppressed, idolatry abounds.
Romans 1:21 puts it this way:
“For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1:21 CSB)
Our thoughts are powerful enough to lead us away from God and His truth. But they also hold the power to align our lives with His will, when we believe the truth. This is why Romans 12: 2 tells us:
“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.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)
Your mind is so powerful, but that power was not given to you to believe lies, and serve idols. Your mind was given to you so that you could have the capacity to know God, to understand His truth, and believe in Him.
How do we do that? We think about what we’re thinking. We take an inventory of our thoughts and ask ourselves, does this thought align with the truth of God? If it doesn’t, we don’t believe it. One of the most freeing revelations I’ve had in life is understanding that we don’t have to believe every thought we think. In fact, we’re called to take our thoughts captive, to renew our minds, and ensure even our thinking glorifies God.
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As always, thank you so much for reading, and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved.
Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.