12 Apr Throwing Out Negative Thoughts
Martin Luther said, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair.” Martin Luther wasn’t really talking about birds; he was talking about your thoughts.
Many times we try to control our actions without dealing with our thoughts, and it’s hard. That’s why willpower doesn’t always work. If we deal with the thoughts first, then the actions will take care of themselves.
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Today, we’re talking about how to say no to negative thoughts. This is huge in my life as it is a struggle that I have dealt with for many years. When I started living out what I’m going to share with you today, I finally started winning the battle against my thoughts.
The Word of God has a sort of measuring stick for the thoughts we have in our minds.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Demolish Our Thoughts
What does that mean? The Word of God says demolish, which means it’s not just about saying no to those thoughts. Take the thought captive by paying attention to your thoughts, and then measuring them against the truth of God’s Word.
If it doesn’t match against God’s Word, you know it to be a lie and can choose not to believe it.
I want to give you an example. Say you’ve had a rough day. You’re tired, frustrated, and you snap at your kids. Almost immediately the thought comes into your mind. “I’m a horrible mom.”
Does that line up with God’s Word?
The answer is no. God’s Word says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” That is the truth.
Anytime that we have these thoughts come against the knowledge of God, then it’s time to make them obedient to Christ.
What does it mean to make a thought obedient to Christ? We replace the thought with another, and the other thought must be the truth of God’s Word. We know that the truth of God’s Word is more powerful than any thought.
Pray God’s Word
You may have seen where I’ve said that one of the best ways that you can pray is by praying God’s Word. It’s because there is truth in it. Power.
When we replace negative thoughts with the truth of God’s Word, we start to see power in our lives. We start to see a difference in the way we act and live because we’re focused on His truth.
Even the thought, “I’m a horrible mom” is a lie that can be combated with the truth of God’s Word. It’s not enough to know that they’re negative; we have to replace them with something stronger: God’s Word.
You can’t replace a lie with the truth if you don’t know the truth. That means you have to dig into the Word of God. If you are serious about growing in Christ and becoming what God wants you to be, you cannot do that without knowing the Word of God. As a Christian, you need to have God’s Word in your heart.
Bring Your Kids In Too
My kids memorize scripture every single week, and we learn together how to apply it in their lives.
You might wonder, “How does she find the time?”
The answer: We do it on the way to school. It takes eight minutes to get from our house to their school, and we spend that eight minutes memorizing the scripture and discussing how it applies to our lives.
But scripture memorization isn’t just for kids. I do the memorization too because it gives me ammunition against my negative thoughts. Memorizing God’s Word pays in dividends in your life when you have the truth of God’s Word in your heart.
If you struggle with certain kinds of thoughts, go to God’s Word and say, “Lord, show me the verses that combat this kind of thinking in my life.”
Google it, or even consider emailing me at [email protected] I would be happy to work with you and come up with a couple of verses for you because this is something that I feel very strongly about.
You have to have God’s Word in your life so that you can change your thought processes, say no to negative thoughts, and say yes to the truth of His Word.
Whose Voice am I Hearing?
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if the voice in your head is God’s voice or the enemy’s. I want to share a couple of specifics on how you can tell God’s voice versus the enemy’s voice.
I’ll mention I didn’t come up with this myself. It came from a Pinterest graphic. As I have been living this out in my own life, I’ve tweaked things a bit to show the difference.
The first is that God’s voice will always be specific. The enemy’s voice will always be very general.
The enemy might say, “You’re a bad mom.” That’s super general. God’s voice is more likely to say, “As I have been patient with you, be so with your children.” See the difference? One is very generalized, while God’s Word is very specific as in this situation it regards patience in particular.
Another example is that God’s Word calms us, where Satan’s voice worries us.
If any thoughts cause worry, you know that is not of the Lord. His Word says over and over, “Do not worry.” The Lord isn’t going to put thoughts into your mind that are going to cause worry. He might put something into your mind that says, “I want you to pray for something specific.”
Another example is that Satan’s voice condemns us, while God’s voice convicts us.
If you’re curious about the difference, I have a blog post that details the difference between the two (click here).
If you feel condemned, that is from the enemy because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. However, there is a conviction that the Lord brings into your life, and if you want to know the difference of that, head over to the blog post.
This last difference is Satan’s voice will always try to convince us to run from God.
If you are experiencing thoughts like, “I don’t want to tell anyone” or “No one feels like this” or even, “I can’t go to God with this,” then recognize them as red flags.
The opposite of that is that God’s voice will always bring us back to Him- think of how the prodigal son returned to his father. God is a god of reconciliation. He will always want to reconcile with you.
We’re Not Perfect
We’re not perfect, and we don’t live in a sinless world. There’s going to be times when you have negative thoughts, but the key is to cut them off and replace them with the truth of God’s Word.
When we start to think about what we’re thinking about, we begin to change it. You’re going to find that doing this will start to flow out into your actions as well (even when you aren’t doing it purposefully!)
When you start to believe you are worthy of self-care, you’re going to start taking the steps to take care of yourself. When you believe that your home is a place of ministry, you’ll start taking better care of your home. When you believe your children are meant for greatness and are set apart for the Lord’s work, you’re going to start treating them differently.
All the different hats you wear, mother, wife, homemaker, etc., will begin to change with the Truth of God.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you enjoyed the post. If you have a question or comment about this episode, please comment or send me an email at [email protected] You can also connect with me over Facebook or Instagram. I’d love to hear from you. Until then, I’ll see you next week.