Our minds are a scary place. We can either have full control of our thoughts or let them wander… and wander… and wander.

Some people consider their minds a place where they can think whatever they want, negative or positive, nice or mean, etc. It can be harder to have control over our thoughts than over our words and actions. Since no one can hear them, we think we have free reign to say whatever we want about anyone we want.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”

God gives us clear instructions on what to focus our thoughts on. It’s easy to focus on gossip, the negatives, and other things that wouldn’t be considered noble, pure, or right. Our minds are trained to automatically think like the world around us.

I know it’s easy for me to think thoughts of comparison. Sound familiar for yourself? Without even knowing that I’m doing it, I’m wondering if I’m good enough instead of feeding myself thoughts of praise, joy, and confidence.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Your heart is the source of your words, thoughts, and actions. Like the verse above says, everything you do flows from it. Guarding your heart is a phrase I’ve heard for years but never really knew what it meant. When we protect ourselves from temptation, negativity, false hope, comparison, etc., our minds are more at ease than the latter.

Guarding your heart starts with your thoughts. Make a conscious effort to protect yourself from the thoughts of the world instead of giving in and letting your mind wander. That’s when you end up hurting yourself!

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”

Self-discipline is the key to taking your thoughts captive. You have to have a tight rein on your mind or it can go to the worst places before you even realize it. God gave us this powerful spirit of self-discipline for a reason. Use it to stray away from temptation, even the temptation that begins in your head!

Because practicing this takes such a conscious effort, I encourage you to try it the rest of today. When your head starts judging those around you, immediately switch to admiring those around you. If you head starts filling with thoughts of “I’m not good enough,” switch to thoughts of praise for the person you are.

These are just a couple examples of taking your thoughts captive. Don’t let them have a hold on you any longer! If there’s one thing we have full control over, it’s what goes on in our heads. Take advantage of that and think thoughts of joy, hope, praise, and love, not only for yourself, but for those around you!

– Chelsea