Every Thought Captive—Really?
We once thought of the mind as an immutable thing. The brain you were born with and the way it worked—or didn’t—were just “how it was”; no sense fretting over what can’t be changed. We now know that the brain is constantly changing, whether or not we intend for it to.
With this in mind—and in hopes of discovering how we can break free from our spiraling thought patterns—I started studying the brain. I began to see a pattern at work in many of us. Our emotions were leading us to thoughts, and those thoughts were dictating our decisions, and our decisions were determining behaviors, and then the behaviors were shaping our relationships, all of which would take us back to either healthy or unhealthy thoughts.
Round and round and round we go, spinning down, seemingly out of control, our lives becoming defined by this endless cycle.
Unless. Unless there is a way to interrupt it.
What if, instead of spending our energy trying to fix the symptoms, we went to the root of the problem? The reality is that our emotions are a byproduct of the way we think. What’s good about this news is that we can change our thinking.
The apostle Paul understood the war that takes place in our thoughts, how our circumstances and imaginations can become weapons that undermine our faith and hope. The Bible records his bold declaration that we are to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, ESV).
Take every thought captive? Is this even possible? Because honestly, my thoughts run wild a lot of the time. But my deep dive into the inner workings of the brain confirmed what the Bible says: we can take every thought captive. Not only can our thoughts be changed, but we can be the ones to change them.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 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
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8
God, help me break the cycle of my out-of-control thoughts. I want Your truths to invade every decision, every emotion, every thought I have. Amen.