2 Corinthians 10:5 “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;”
It’s an artful dance I find myself constantly doing. Today was no exception when my mind started wandering down what if and why lane. It’s a dangerous road, full of potholes, pits, traps, and snares. You can tiptoe carefully along but eventually you will trip, twist your ankle, or fall into one of the deep dark pits.
My what if’s and why lane consisted of wishes that are really quite silly.
What if I lived closer to xyz group of women whom I admire. Just maybe I’d be part of their neat little group of encouragers/writers.
What if I never make it anywhere with my writing and I am just spinning my wheels.
And the conversation in my head went on.
Until I put my foot down and backtracked off of that dusty road and padded back into the soft, safe green grass.
When I allow myself to go down What if’s and Why lane, I am taken over by negative thoughts. I remember just a few years ago hearing people toss key phrases around, like Christians often do, “Take your thoughts captive.” What I really wanted to know when I’d hear this is how?
How do you take your thoughts captive and what on earth does that really mean?
It sounds nice and spiritual to say, doesn’t it? Take your thoughts captive. However, don’t you think it would help to explain what that means, if you are going to say it? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. So here it goes.
When I catch myself heading down What If’s and Why lane, I try to catch myself before I even step foot on the path. I am not always successful in doing so. I have realized the Holy Spirit is helping me here because I have asked for help to be made aware when I start to go there. I’ve spent enough of my life bumping along and getting stuck down that dirty road. I don’t want to continue it.
So when my mind takes off on it’s own as it sometimes does, I work on bringing myself back by firmly deciding that I am NOT going to think on the negative thoughts anymore. I pray about it and I ask for help.
Then I think about something completely unrelated to the topic and I make myself think about that something else. Sometimes I do it out loud. Often times I will start singing a hymn or another type of song just so my brain is required to do something other than slither down a road I am not supposed to go down.
Of course there are times that we do need to focus our energies on somethings. I’m not talking about pretending everything is okay and sweeping the bad under the rug. What I am suggesting is that you have the power to allow your thoughts to drag you down and take you to some dark places. I know. I’ve been there. Quite frequently in fact and I hate that trip. It’s no vacation and it offers no benefits.
If you need to work out something in your past, please seek counseling. Ask a trusted friend, pastor, or mentor if they know someone who will counsel you. Pastors are often available to counsel and they are free (at least that is my experience). If your pastor can’t do it or you don’t feel comfortable with that (totally understandable) he will know someone to refer you to.
In the New Year, I challenge you to take charge of your thoughts. If you do so prayerfully, I guarantee you will see results. If you need to seek counseling, do it. Don’t let your past continue to haunt you and drag you down. You can move past your past.
You might also like my series, 31 Days of Depression.
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