5 Steps to a Healthier Thought Life
Your thoughts have power. Sound surprising? It’s true. Your thoughts play a large role in the way you relate to your family, co-workers, fellow Christians, neighbors and even yourself. If you are consumed with thoughts of guilt, regret, anger, self-loathing, embarrassment or fear, you will eventually act on those thoughts. Whereas, if your thoughts are filled with peace, kindness, gentleness, love and acceptance, then you will act on those thoughts.
Romans 8:5-6 puts it this way: “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Right now, commit to control your mind so you can lead a life that is filled with peace and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The result not only blesses you, it also blesses those around you and allows the love of God to shine through you. Here are five steps you can take to have a healthier thought life.
1. Recognize the Source of Your Thought Life
Look at what Ephesians 6:12 says: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” The enemy would love to keep you enslaved to negativity, sadness and hate. He is working overtime to keep you from accessing the freedom that is available to you.
2. Recognize That Jesus Has Defeated the Enemy
Jesus paid the price for any sin that you committed, and also for any sin that was committed against you. All of the sadness and anger that you have experienced in your life has been covered by the blood of Jesus. First John 1:7 explains that “if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” Jesus has already paid the price to set you free from whatever is the source of your negative thoughts.
3. Take Charge of Your Thoughts
Negative thoughts are like a rabbit trail. You can either choose to follow the trail, or you can stop yourself at the beginning. Second Corinthians 10:5 encourages you to handle negative thoughts like this: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (KJV). Commit right now to arrest any negative thoughts. Don’t go down that rabbit trail! Instead, take a stand by saying, “I cast this thought down. By the blood of Jesus, my thoughts will no longer control me. They will, instead, be obedient to Jesus!”
4. Open Your Bible
Begin studying God’s Word to find out what it has to say about your situation. If your thoughts often run toward anger and unforgiveness, then find out what God’s Word has to say about those subjects. If lust tries to trap you, then discover what God’s Word has to say about that. If self-doubt plagues you, then study about the love of God. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” Let His Word begin to prepare and equip you!
5. Focus on the Good
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8, KJV). Surround yourself with good influences that bless God. Make sure that the music you listen to, the media you watch, the social media you visit and the friends you talk with build you up. Avoid people and situations that are going to draw you back into negative thought patterns and keep you from the freedom that is yours. Improving your thought life is a process, so begin today.
A happier, healthier life is within your grasp. In fact, it’s right between your ears. Your thoughts play a powerful role on your quality of life, so begin implementing these five steps and start enjoying a healthier thought life today!