Controlling Your Thoughts
These past few weeks gave me lots of opportunities to exercise controlling my thoughts. My
husband Pat was furloughed with the partial government shutdown and even though I had
peace in my spirit that God would take care of us, my thoughts tried to convince me otherwise.
I felt like I was in a tug a war of emotions the first few weeks that sometimes left me completely
exhausted by the end of the day. I would start the morning peaceful and full of hope in God that
He would see us through, but as the day continued, I allowed the news or conversations with
co-workers, even friends to get me thinking about the circumstances rather than on God’s
promise to see us through.
It wasn’t long before the “What if” kind of thoughts started coming
my way and it was fueled every time I would check the news on my phone.
Keeping my thoughts in check was a process and the good news was that by the fourth week
into this, I began to finally get a handle on controlling what thoughts I would allow myself to
dwell on. I found that when I kept my mind on Him, I had peace (see Isaiah 26:3) and was able
to enjoy the journey regardless of the circumstances (see Proverbs 15:15).
I discovered some other valuable lessons as it relates to controlling my thoughts:
I need to take responsibility for my thoughts. What I put into my mind does effect
what I think about. 2 Corinthians 10:5 reminds me to take captive every thought and
Philippians 4:9 shows me what to fix my thoughts on.
I need to transform my thoughts. I need to allow God to transform how I think about
my circumstances. Romans 12:2 reminds me there is value in reading, studying,
discussing and obeying God’s Word. His Word will reshape my thinking and redirect my
choices. It will strengthen my resolve and fortify me to keep pressing on.
I need to take control of my thoughts. When I experience difficult challenges, I am
capable of not having to react to them by thinking thoughts of despair and hopelessness.
Philippians 4:8 reminds me to fix my thoughts on the best, not the worst.
It is not easy to retrain your thoughts. The good news is with God’s help, it will become over
time easier to focus your mind on the right things. It is possible to be mindful of what you are
thinking about and to take control of those thoughts that don’t line up with God’s Word. The
good news is God has given us a spirit of power, of love and of a calm and well-balanced mind
and disciplined and self-control (see 2 Timothy 1:7). We have the Holy Spirit helping and
So let’s decide together to control what we are thinking about. Let’s fix our thoughts on the best,
not the worst!