Taking thoughts captive means controlling them instead of letting them control you. — Priscilla Shirer
We were created in the image of God, and we are His masterpieces. What would our lives be like if we lived like we believed that truth? The biggest reason we don’t is because we have let toxic thoughts run rampant in our minds. We can’t let them dictate our lives—we must choose to capture our thoughts.
Taking our thoughts captive will be one of the toughest battles we engage in. It’s so much easier to just entertain the toxic thought. The effort comes when we engage in the battle. Even if we entertain the thought, we can still take it captive. It truly is better to do it late than never.
When the Bible says to take our thoughts captive, that means we have the power to do something about it. As Christians, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can manage our thoughts.
Here’s an example: let’s say there’s someone in your life you need to forgive. Every day, you remember what they did to you. You can’t seem to let it go or heal from it. You might start to have thoughts like, “I don’t really need to forgive this person” or “What they did to me is unforgivable.” These are the toxic thoughts you must take captive. Recognize that it is causing you to inner turmoil. Then, choose truth from God’s Word. You might even pray, “God, I’m choosing to push this thought aside instead of entertaining it. I know you have forgiven me of so much in my life. Help me to extend the same forgiveness to this person.”
And then you do it again and again and again until it “takes.” You’ll know healing is occurring when you look back on the situation and the sting of pain isn’t as intense. You will see it as something that happened to you—past tense—not something that is happening to you—present tense.
Why is it important that we stop those thoughts?
- Because they go against God’s best and prevent us from living joy-filled lives.
- In order to spend our mental energy on things that build up instead of tear down.
- So they won’t control our minds, which in turn control our actions.
Every day is a new day. We get a new set of hours to live the lives that will bring glory to God and joy to our souls. We just have to recognize that and wake up with a newfound determination to be the boss of our thoughts, not the other way around.
- What is a recurring, toxic thought that you need to start taking captive today? Call it what it is—a lie.
- Find a verse that will blast that lie. When you think that thought, capture it and speak the verse aloud. Do this as often as you need.