“ … and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2nd Corinthians 10:5, MSG).
Holding my tongue is something I’ve been trained to do from a very early age. Commenting to my daycare teacher that she remarkably resembled the Wicked Witch of the West was not nice. I shouldn’t have said something like that, even if I was at the outspoken, unbridled age of three and a half.
One of my favorite Disney cartoons growing up was Bambi. We all know the famous line spoken by Bambi’s energetic bunny-friend, Thumper:
I assume that most all of us had parents and grandparents who, since we were knee-high to a pig’s eye, have been using this rabbit’s wisdom to teach us politeness. What I have not been so adept at is holding my thoughts…
King Solomon instructed us to guard our hearts because they are wellsprings of life (Proverbs 4:23). Over nine-hundred years later, Jesus said that we speak from the overflow of our hearts (Matt. 12:34). If our hearts are full of hope and joy, we will speak optimistically and scatter the storm clouds of worry and fear that the enemy so often sends into our skies. But while keeping our tongues in check is vital to a victorious life, so too is maintaining a mind filled with godly thoughts that build up and encourage, not tear down and dishearten.
In her book Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind, evangelist and author Joyce Meyer writes that we cannot have a positive life and a negative mind simultaneously. Isn’t that so true? If we think negatively about ourselves, we can’t help but be in low spirits, and to quote Solomon again, “a crushed spirit, who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14). Pessimistic, worrisome, fearful, and self-pitying thoughts translate into a miserable and depressed life, one that Jesus came to save us from (John 10:10). And we can only keep the Happy Camper act up for so long before our smile muscles cave to the pulling forces of insincerity and weariness, and we have a meltdown.
Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy. When you start feeling discouraged, replace what isn’t going right with what is. Think of all that God has done for you, and think on His promises to prosper and bless you, and that He – this very moment – is working all things together for your good (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). Remember that we are daily at war with Satan and his invisible armies whose mission it is to derail you from your purpose on this planet and plunder your joy in the process. The Word of God is the most powerful weapon we have against their attacks. Let’s use it! Let’s fill our minds with it daily and commit to memory verses that we can easily pull out like a light saber to extinguish the darts of the devil.
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” –Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
Stay fit, stay faithful, think positive ~<3 Di