I’ve always been a worrier. I’ll admit it. My thoughts often get the best of me. Maybe it’s the fact that like to have everything planned out. I need to know what’s going to happen and when. And even though I say I like surprises, I actually don’t handle them well. Why? Because I’m a bit of a control freak. Yes, I said it. I, Alyssa J Howard, like to be in control.
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I’ve always known that I shouldn’t worry. After all, the Bible says so – right? But I don’t think it really hit me until I saw some of my same “worry” traits in my oldest daughter. She’s always been that way for as long as I can remember. As a young toddler she would organize her toys by color and size (which was very cute at the time!) But now that’s she’s older, her toys must be organized and in their place or she can’t fall asleep at night. She gets that from me. Watching her worry about such small details made me realize that I needed to change.
It’s not enough to obey Christ in my actions; my thoughts need to obey Him as well.
The weapons we use for the fight, you see, are not merely human; they carry a power from God that can tear down fortresses! We tear down clever arguments and every proud notion that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. We take every thought prisoner and make it obey the Messiah. – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (The Kingdom New Testament)
Worry is a sin. So is worldly thinking. And I’m guilty of both on a regular basis. And when I say worldly thinking, I’m not talking about obvious sins and temptations. I’m referring to my to-do list. Every day my mind is consumed with everything I have to accomplish – dishes, laundry, food preparations, errands… even my Bible study time becomes something to check off on my to-do list. I don’t have time to think about the things of God, the unseen and the eternal, because I spend all of my time thinking about my responsibilities.
Now I’m not saying that we should neglect our day-to-day tasks, but what I am saying is that they shouldn’t consume our thoughts.
What consumes your thought life? What do you think about most?
Here’s the truth: We have been given the power to make our thoughts obey the Messiah. We don’t have to allow our thoughts to take control, rather we can take control of our thoughts.
- Learn to recognize the thoughts that are out of line. Identifying “disobedient” thoughts is that first step to taking them captive. Worry, fear, doubt, temptation – we need to be proactive in recognizing that these types of thoughts are not of God.
- Replace disobedient thoughts with obedient ones. When we take thoughts captive, we are literally capturing them and forcing them to change. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us, we make them obey Christ.
Instead of worrying about finances, I change my thinking and remember that Jesus promised to meet my physical needs. If I’m facing an illness, I remind myself that I serve the Healer. Rather than thinking about everything that could go wrong, I speak the truth of God’s Word into my situation.
I take every thought prisoner and make them obey my Savior.
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*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.