I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire. (Luke 24:32)
There are some things we shouldn’t think about.
That almost sounds un-American, like, “What about my freedom, man?”
But our thoughts, like most everything, if left to themselves, will just meander downward.
I love the imagery of “take every thought captive.”
It means you don’t let your thoughts go anywhere they please. Captives don’t get that luxury.
The idea comes from Second Corinthians 10:5 where it talks about taking every thought captive and bringing it into the obedience of Christ.
So how do we take every thought captive?
The Bible has some guidelines. Let’s start with Philippians 4:8, “…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.”
That knocks out a bunch of the stuff we see online, and a bunch of stuff we hear in gossip. We shouldn’t think about them because they aren’t excellent or praiseworthy.
It also knocks out a whole category of self-talk, because this also applies to our thoughts about ourselves.
Some people are in a horrible rut of thinking awful things about themselves, yet Philippians 4:8 says to think on the good things, and Second Corinthians 10:5 wants us to bring all the negative self-talk into the obedience of Christ, who loves us and wants the best for us.
So I recommend memorizing Philippians 4:8 and bringing all of our thoughts captive into that wonderful, biblical, positive corral.
Here’s another biblical guideline for taking every thought captive: Philippians 3:13. It says to forget what is behind. We are to forget the past and press on toward the future that God has for us.
That knocks out a whole category of thinking that some people never get beyond…those things in the past. Some people can’t get past that wrong that was done to them, and some people can’t get past that victory way back when, so they end up stuck in the past. But Philippians 3:13 says to forget what is in the past. We don’t think about the things in the past. Instead we press on toward what God is doing now and in the future.
Along this same line is our next guideline found in First Corinthians 13:5. It says that love keeps no record of wrongs. That’s another whole category of thinking that we need to take captive for Christ: all the wrongs that were ever done to us. We need to stop thinking about them. And if they come to our mind, we don’t dwell on them. We take them captive and submit them to Christ who wants us to love our enemies, which is nearly impossible to do as long as we are thinking about how they did us wrong.
Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our minds on things above, on heavenly things, Godly things, holy things. We take our thoughts captive and train them to think on eternal things, like loving God and loving people, things like God’s Word and God’s plans.
I’ve been talking about my motto of living “Lean and Clean for the King,” and this is a subcategory of that: keeping our thoughts lean and clean by taking every thought captive for Christ and by not thinking about a bunch of things that don’t do any good anyway.
So, if we’re ready to go to the next level, this is one thing we’re going to have to do: take every thought captive.
May God bless you today.
I’m Doug Apple.