I don’t know about you, but for me, the struggle to think right is very real. Satan loves to fill our minds with thoughts that are not of God–tempting thoughts, negative thoughts, anxious thoughts, depressing thoughts.
With all that is going on in the world right now, many people feel isolated, lonely, and even confused by all the different messages coming so hard at them.
Most battles we face start with the mind. It’s hard not to dwell on wrong thoughts. But those thoughts impact our emotions. Our emotions often feed our words, and those words usually direct our actions.
We don’t always realize that it starts with our thought life. Sometimes when I am struggling with negative or anxious thoughts, it takes me a while to realize it. I just feel down or catch myself saying negative things. I may even be in a bad mood “for no reason.”
Many people struggle with negative thoughts about themselves: jealousy, comparison, betrayal, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Even Christians. We just usually aren’t that open about it.
The truth is that as followers of Christ, we still have to learn and grow and renew our minds. We still are products of our childhood and past events in our lives. We still need help to overcome our struggles.
But because we fear appearing weak or spiritually immature, we struggle alone. We’re afraid to share with others because we might be judged.
Let’s take off the masks and just get real. We don’t all have it together all the time. And that’s ok. We just need to be willing to let God work and let others help. So, let’s look at a few biblical things we can do to get our minds right.
First, we need to think about what we’re thinking about.
“The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright give thought to their ways.”Proverbs 21:29, NIV
Let’s not put up a front and just pretend everything is okay. If we are in Christ, we need to think about our ways, including our thought life. What are the thoughts that are controlling you right now? Are they negative? Tempting? Anxious? Write them out in a journal.
Then search out God’s Word to see what He says about those thoughts. Our minds can become distracted and confused, especially as the world drowns out what we know to be true. But God’s Word is the antidote for those lies. Meditating on and even memorizing Bible verses will help us replace those negative thoughts with truth.
Second, we talk about our thoughts and feelings with a trusted Christian friend.
Don’t suffer alone. Others feel the strain right now too, and we can help each other. Often, once we voice our thoughts aloud, we’ve already removed some of their power over us.
And having another’s perspective may be what we need to reorient our mind’s to God’s truth.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
I love that whole passage because it is such a fabulous reminder that God did not call us to live out our faith in isolation. The enemy will do everything he can to separate us because he knows the strength we have together in the Lord.
We are called to community and fellowship with one another. (You can join our private Facebook group, Growing Your Faith, for prayer and support). When one is weak, the other can be strong. I have a friend whom I call on for prayer when I am overwhelmed and my faith is weak. I tell her, “I’m calling in reinforcements!”
Why? Because sometimes I need another to hold me up and vice versa. Just as Aaron came alongside Moses to hold his arms up during the battle, we sometimes need a sister to support us when we are in the midst of a battle (Exodus 17:8-16).
Don’t let the enemy keep you isolated or feed you the lie that you can’t trust anybody with your struggles. Ask God to put another believing woman in your life who will stand by you and hold you up when you need it.
Third, we understand that God knows and cares about our thoughts.
“The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.”Psalm 94:11
God knows our thoughts, and He understands that they are often futile–“something with no substance, meaningless” (The NIV Exhaustive Bible Concordance.) In other words, our thoughts apart from God are “incapable of producing any useful result; pointless” (Google).
Have you ever spent hours worrying over something or dwelling on negative thoughts or harboring bitterness in your mind? What about fearful, anxious thoughts? Do any of those thoughts produce anything useful in our lives?
God knows and understands our struggle. Jesus struggled in the Garden when faced with the cross. And He did it alone because His brothers couldn’t stay awake and pray with Him (Matthew 26:36-46). But He was able to trust God with those thoughts, and we can, too.
We have a Savior who sympathizes with us (Hebrews 4:14-16), and who tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Fourth, we learn to think like Jesus.
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.Philippians 4:8, bold added
If we are dwelling on temptation, fear, insecurity, worry, doubt, anger, unforgiveness, or lies from the devil, then we need to change what we are thinking. Who can change what we think? We can!
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”2 Corinthians 10:5 (bold added)
Oh, you can be sure that many thoughts will come to our minds each day that are not of God, but His Word tells us we can take those thoughts captive and make them obey Christ. In other words, we are responsible to monitor our thoughts and change them when they don’t line up with God’s Word.
We may not be able to choose the thoughts that pop in our heads, but we can choose whether or not we dwell on them.
I’ll be the first to admit that’s not easy to do. But the more we focus on Him and His Word, the easier it becomes. Daily time reading the Bible and memorizing Scripture will help.
“Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”Romans 12:1-2, bold added
And we must renew our minds in the Word of God. The Lord loves us. He cares about every part of us, and He wants every part of us surrendered to Him, including our minds.
If you are struggling with thoughts that distract you, tempt you, or keep you from being all that God wants you to be, let me encourage you to seek His face today.
Ask Him to help you think as He thinks. Ask Him to give you the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We can love God, not only with all our hearts, but also with all our minds (Matthew 22:37).
You can start getting your mind right today.