Out with Bad Thoughts, In with Good Thoughts
Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24
Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:22-23
Here's a quiz from chemistry class: what’s the best way to force gas out of a test tube? If you answered, “Pour liquid into the test tube,” you’re right. You get gas out by pouring liquid in. It’s called displacement. One element pushes out the other because they can’t both occupy the same space.
Here’s a similar principle for dealing with lustful thoughts: Get rid of them with pure thoughts.
You can inject in pure thoughts in many ways. Turn on a Christian CD and focus on the music and lyrics. Open a Christian magazine or book, turn on a Christian video, or call up a Christian friend for a clean conversation. But the most effective way to displace bad thoughts is by memorizing and meditating on Scripture. Here’s a pattern you can follow:
- Decide to memorize at least one verse each week. Here are some good ones to start with: Psalm 51:10; Psalm 119:9, 11; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1-3.
- Memorize the verse word for word. Find a Bible translation that helps you understand the verse clearly, then memorize that version. Don’t make up your own translation. Write the verse on a small card you can keep in your pocket and look at it often until you have it memorized.
- Meditate on this verse. Meditating means thinking deeply and continuously about the verse. Ask yourself what the verse means and what God is saying to you through it. Think about each word separately and what it means to the verse as a whole.
- Apply the verse to your life. Complete the statement: “As a result of this verse, I will . . .”
- Review. Go over the new verse every day for two months. Then once a week after that.
- Use what you have stored away. Whenever impure thoughts hassle you, pull up one of your memory verses, review it, and meditate on it until the good thoughts force out the bad thoughts.
REFLECT: Do you have trouble with impure thoughts? What are you going to do to cram your brain full of God’s pure thoughts?
PRAY: Ask God to purify your mind through the Scriptures you memorize and meditate on.