Can We Control Our Thoughts

I was listening to an aquaintance and he said that we should pay attention to what we should be paying attention to. Can we control our thoughts so that we pay attention to what we should be paying attention to. This is the you tube link https://youtu.be/GsP6w6DiN8M .

There is a scripture verse that has become one of my favorites. It speaks about taking our thoughts caprtive, 2 cor 10:5  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.

Can we control our thoughts by using the instructions found in this verse? How do we take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ? I had been using the term, censoring our thoughts, as we live the Christian life. We are told not to sin in thought word or deed. There is an article by Michelle Freeman that discusses the idea of taking thoughts captive. You can read it here.

In my own daily living, there are thoughts that invade my mind and many of them can be very entertaining. Especially those that are of a sexual nature or those that make me a dominate figure in different situations. I dream just about evary night and some of those dreams are frightening, however; many of them are invigorating, Years ago, before I began a relationship with Jesus and recognized the person that God had intended for me to be, I would be held captive by my thoughts and dreams.

However; as I studied the bible and understood that Jesus’s desire for me, as a Christian, was to be Christlike. How is this possible?  There are many verse that tell us that we should have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

The only way for me or you to have the mind of Christ and to take our thoughts captive is to get our hearts right and allow the Holy Spirit to censor what goes into our minds. We must pray, read and meditate on the word and when thoughts come into our minds, that we know not to be Christlike, let them be captured by Jesus. This is my method, I pray,” Lord this is a thought that is unacceptable to you so I’m asking you to weed this thought from my mind and if it resurfaces I will again let it be captured by you. Thank you Lord because you know my thoughts even before they become a thought in my mind and you are aware of the evil that they can cause in my life. Lord take those sexual, immoral thoughts captive. Thank you Lord for giving me a clean heart and a clean mind.  Amen

28 thoughts on “Can We Control Our Thoughts”

  1. I like your post, It’s a little short, but that doesn’t matter if you have said everything you wanted to say. For instance, you could focus on where to send you thoughts when you have negative or bad thoughts. I know you have, but it is cleverly hidden. Good Luck!!

  2. This is a very interesting topic and so true.  I agree that it’s extremely important that we censor our thoughts by controlling what goes in, or what we allow ourselves to think about.  Proverbs  23:7 simply states it like this, “For as he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he”  I especially agree with your summary on how we are to control our thoughts as Christians.  Thank you for this insightful post.

  3. The video brings some good points in terms of bringing attention to ourselves and focusing on the blessings in our lives. Tapping into the real source of inspiration which is God and through prayers. As a believer, I make it a point to start my day with prayer and asking for daily direction.  In dealing with the pandemic and social distancing, your topic is very timely and needed. It hits the exact points that we need right now. I’m truly encouraged by your key point which is to”pay attention to what your attention is focused on.”  I am certain many will be blessed by your post. 

    DeeDee

    1. DeeDee I’m just a lay person who has been serving the Lord for over 45 years. The Disciples and many of the women who followed Jesus were just ordinary people. I live my life by grace that is immeasurable..  

  4. I enjoyed reading your article about our thoughts and taking them captive.  It is refreshing reading a Christian blog post.  I’m a Christian myself and I love to read my Bible.  In fact, I’m doing a “read the bible in 90 days” plan right now.  You are so right that as followers of Jesus, taking control of our thoughts is important to advancing in our Christian walk.  Even though we have confessed our sins and accepted Jesus as our Savior, it is important to continue to grow and become more like Jesus.  We are to be conformed to His likeness and I love your list of scriptures about our thoughts and our need to become more “Christ-like”.   Another scripture that is related to this process is Philippians 4:8 “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.”  Thank you for this blog post – Shirley

  5. Yea.  As we grow in the Lord, we get to know those things that are helpful to us and those that are not.  This knowledge can let us take unwholesome thoughts captive.  For example, thoughts that bring unnecessary fear, doubt, etc should not be encouraged.  We can take our thoughts captive through prayer; if we learn to pray against thoughts that threaten our well being.  As you mentioned in Rom 12:2, we also need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  This includes not entertaining thoughts that will get us to go back to old sinful ways.  And that should get us to really censor what gets into our minds.  Gradually unwholesome thoughts, thus taken captive, stops completely because through constant prayer we have been able to know what is the acceptable, perfect, will of God.

  6. I agree with you. We need to control our thoughts because it is our thoughts that lead us into action. So to make sure our actions are right, in God’s eyes, we should deal with it at the root. My favourite passage for guidance in this issue is:’ Whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is noble, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent and worthy of praise, think on these things. Thanks for this article.

  7. This is a very timely post for me. I need to do some major organising in my life right now. And if that is going to happen I have to be able to control my thoughts. I love the scriptures you quoted, especially The very first one which talks about bringing our thoughts under captive. Your prayer about unacceptable thoughts will be my prayer too. I’m sure I will have a testimony soon! 

  8. You have given me food for thought after reading this post. I always have too many thoughts that kind of interfere with my day’s scheduled tasks. The verses you have shared hold the answers to my challenge and I need to reflect on them more.
    With the current pandemic situation, holding our thoughts captive can be so liberating. 
    Thank you for sharing your special prayer with us.

  9. Our thoughts are part of the basic things that define us as humans. Subconsciously, I’ve had the belief that we have full control over what we think about until I came across this enlightening post. I agree with the notion that we should do away with immoral thoughts and instead replace them with positive thoughts that gives reverence to the almighty. 

  10. Good article.  Controlling your thoughts is very important whether you’re a Christian or not.  There is no Heaven without self-control…here or in the hereafter.  The first thing to do is to control your environment.  That means places you go to, things you watch, people you associate with and the things you read.  I appreciate your post because it reminds me to ever be vigilant. To quote the Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

  11. We live in this world but we’re not part of this world. I remember the story our pastor told us once. In order for a new plant to grow, the seed first needs to die. We have to renounce our flesh and conform our thoughts to Christ. It’s not easy by any means. Indeed, it’s impossible if we rely wholly on our strength. We need to depend on Jesus. Only He can help us. Thanks for sharing.

  12. As a man thinketh so shall he be comes to mind while reading this. Our thoughts are truly powerful that I believe that it can shape our lives without even realizing it. Not a lot of people are able to control their thoughts because it is really difficult especially those that are of a sinful nature. 

    Sexual thoughts comes to mind as this one is really difficult to bring under control. I have prayed to God to help me with this and it is taking sometime for me to get it under control. 

    We should always be careful what we feed into our head because they really can shape the type of person we turn our to be.

    1. A lot of us have problems with sexual thoughts. They are so entertaining and gratifying. I would be lying if I said that I did not have a problem with those kind of thoughts. I normally pray the prayer in my post but sometimes I forget. Blessings.

  13. Thanks for a very thought provoking article. Is it because we have lost our innocence that thoughts should be controlled. I wonder whether a young child needs to worry about controlling thoughts if those thoughts are coming from a place of innocence and peace. That as adults we find ourselves entertaining negative and unproductive thoughts is maybe unsurprising and this article is aimed at this situation. Isn’t another approach to be again as children, to rediscover or re-submerge ourselves in the innocence of the child that still dwells within? Or is it just not possible to turn the clock back? I wonder. Thank you for a thought provoking article. Best regards, Andy

  14. I try to control my thoughts. If I have a hateful thought or if I think the devil is trying to put ideas in my head I pray for forgiveness right away. I try to take my bad thoughts and think what would Jesus do. That usually stops me in my tracks as I let Jesus into my heart. You wrote a very insightful article. Thank you for sharing.

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