“All warfare is based on deception.”
These words written by Chinese General Sun Tzu outlined a philosophy of war as described in his book The Art of War.
However, those words are not only true for warring between nations, but warring in our own minds. Our thoughts can deceive us, leading us places we never intended to go, but alas, we find ourselves tumbling down the black hole of negative thinking:
- It starts with a seed of doubt in our decision, ability, or action
- Then it’s watered by the accusation of, “Who do you think you are?!”
- It continues to grow with a defeatist mindset that we are no longer capable
- Finally those thoughts root themselves in our mind taking hold of life itself and garnering more control than we ever wanted to allow
It’s hard to escape the rabbit hole of bad thinking. When we allow negative thoughts to enter our mind it can easily lead to a negative pattern of thinking which then leads to poor decisions and finally results in ugly behavior.
I know this because I’ve been living it the past few weeks.
So how do we claw ourselves out of the black hole back into light?
Thankfully, our gracious God speaks several times in scripture to this exact issue.
Romans 12:2 says that we can be transformed by the “renewing of your mind.” This is the purpose of reading scripture – so that our minds may be washed of the filth that infiltrates them through TV, music, social media and more. God’s Word is like a refreshing stream to our mind that cleans off all the dirt and grim to start fresh, in other words to be transformed.
The other key part of renewing our mind falls directly on us. Second Corinthians takes us even further into our quest of renewing our mind by providing specifics regarding how we can do that.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension [lofty opinion] that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
I LOVE the vivid imagery here in this verse. When I think about something being demolished, I envision a wrecking ball slamming into a concrete building and tearing it down stone by stone. Have you ever seen an old decrepit building be destroyed by implosion? That’s another image we can think upon when trying to demolish such negative thinking.
The verse doesn’t stop there though.
It goes on to tell us that we should take captive every negative thought.
I’m sure you’ve seen images whether in real life or fiction of prisoners. They’re normally bound in a chair and gagged. Imagine doing this to our negative thinking! By both demolishing and taking captive those negative thoughts, they don’t have near the power they once did!
These words today are just as much for me as they are for you. Let’s work today to renew our minds by filling them with scripture. And when those dark thoughts begin to creep onto our doorstep, take a sledgehammer to them, friend!