What does the Bible say?
Thoughts. They run wild somedays. Mine certainly do. There are three, and more) effective ways to control your thoughts. It is important to control them because the way you think has a direct impact on the way you act and feel. Your thoughts shape our attitude, our outlook on life, and the decisions you make. By controlling your thoughts, you can ensure that your actions will follow suit.
Controlling our thoughts also helps us to be more mindful of our emotions and how they might manifest in our behavior. Being mindful of our thoughts can help us stay focused and be more productive in our daily lives. It can also help us to be more compassionate and understanding of ourselves and others. We’re not plagued by our troublesome thoughts.
The Bible teaches us that controlling our thoughts is an important part of living a life pleasing to God.
Proverbs 4:23, NCV Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
Even as I write this post, I can look back just a few hours ago when my thoughts were all over the place. I was tired and my thoughts went crazy. I hated what I wore, I hated my hair. You can see where this was going, can’t you? I had to purposely redirect my thoughts in order to regain the joy of the day. Thoughts do indeed run our lives.
That’s because our actions are prompted by our thoughts. No one does anything without thinking about it first. Now, we might not always be aware of our thoughts but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have them before we acted.
David didn’t just commit adultery with Bathsheba without thinking about it first. Peter’s thoughts were totally out of control when he denied Jesus. Had he been aware of the frightened thoughts he was thinking, he might have made a different choice. Ananias and Sapphira wouldn’t have reneged on their promise to tithe from a property sale if they’d been aware of their greedy thoughts.
Controlling our thoughts is an essential aspect of personal growth and spiritual development. The Bible offers valuable guidance on how to control our thoughts and align them with God’s truth.Tweet
Controlling our thoughts isn’t easy.
With our hectic and busy lives, it can be difficult to stay focused and keep our minds from wandering. But, with the right techniques and a focus on faith, we can learn to control our thoughts according to biblical methods. It is important to remember that our ultimate goal is to draw closer to God and glorify Him with our thoughts and actions.
In Proverbs 4:23 we read “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” We can take this verse to mean that if we want our actions and words to be aligned with God’s will we have to control our hearts and minds from which our thoughts originate.
Therefore, we should strive to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2) so that our hearts become a reflection of God’s will. And our thoughts will never be pleasing to God if our hearts aren’t.
Philippians 4:8 tells us “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things” This means that when negative thoughts come into our mind we need to identify them and then replace them with good ones.
It isn’t a case, though, of positive thinking as we think of positive thinking. Positive thinking for the Christian means using Biblical words and concepts. The Psalms are a great place to start.
Some practical tips
In order to practice controlling our thoughts according to the Bible’s teachings there are some practical steps that we can take in our daily lives.
Pray before leaving your house.
First off, it helps if every day before leaving the house you pause and say a prayer asking God for guidance for your thoughts during the day. (This is in addition to the your regular time with God.) This sets the stage for allowing yourself time every morning where you focus on being mindful about what kind of thinking patterns you choose throughout the day.
One way to do this is to practice mindfulness and focus on the present moment. This means taking time to be still and recognize your thoughts and feelings without judgment or attachment. It can ultimately help you find more clarity and peace in your life, allowing you to make decisions from a place of self-awareness and understanding.
Here’s a great tip.
If you pay attention the words you speak, you will know how you’ve been thinking. So listen to the words you are using.
Nighttime reflection on your thoughts
Secondly, try setting aside 10 minutes at night before bedtime devoted solely towards reflecting on your day. Quietly go through each event one by one so that any negative thoughts or worries don’t get stuck inside your head overnight. Address them promptly during this reflection time period.
Don’t be afraid to admit your thoughts to God. I know at times, I’m ashamed some days of my judgmental thoughts and I, too, don’t like to admit to them. But remember, you aren’t telling God anything he doesn’t know anyway. Take comfort in the knowledge that God will never judge you, no matter what you tell Him.
Stream of Consciousness Writing
Stream of consciousness writing is a type of writing that involves the writer writing down their thoughts and feelings as they come. This is done without judgment, censorship, or stopping. It allows for an emotional release in which thoughts can come out freely — as if writing a long letter to oneself. The goal is not to create beautiful prose, but to capture whatever is on one’s mind and to allow it to flow out.
A way to begin capturing our thoughts
One way to start stream of consciousness writing is to start with how you are feeling in the moment. It could be a physical feeling or an emotion. Then, keep writing anything that comes to mind – don’t bother with punctuation or grammar, don’t judge yourself – just write.. It’s like talking to yourself. Keep writing until you’ve exhausted the topic.
An example of what a stream of consciousness journal entry could look like is as follows: “I feel so overwhelmed right now. I’m completely swamped with work and I’m not sure how I’ll ever finish it all. I feel like I’m up against a wall and I’m not sure what to do. My head is spinning and I just want to curl up in a ball and hide away. Deep down I know I can get through this but it’s hard to find the motivation to keep going. Maybe I’ll take a break for a bit and do something I enjoy to help clear my head.”
Cathartic and healing
Stream of consciousness journaling (any simple cheap notebook will work) can be deeply cathartic and healing. It helps to acknowledge and release emotions, to gain clarity, and to reframe our thoughts. It can be used to process difficult feelings and experiences, and to develop greater self-awareness. As part of a larger mindfulness practice, it can help us to stay present and connected to ourselves.
Identifies mental roadblocks
Stream of consciousness writing can identify any mental roadblocks which are preventing us from living up to Gods standards. This can help to give us clarity and open our eyes to areas of our life where we can make changes to align with our values and follow God’s will. At the same time, it also provides clarity around what areas need improvement in order for us gain greater control over ourselves thoughts.
Don’t be afraid of your thoughts. That’s all they are-thoughts. They only have the power you give them.
God bless and have a great day.