I’m lying in bed early in the morning as the sun creeps through the blinds. My eyes flutter open, and at first there is a kind of calm and peaceful feeling as the new day begins. Then , something happens. With very little effort, thoughts begin to pop into my head, and I begin to listen to myself.
“I don’t want to get out of bed.”
“There is too much to do today.”
“It feels like I’m always behind in life.”
I do eventually get out of bed and the listening continues through out the day. Sometimes what I hear myself saying is positive, but If I’m being completely honest, my mind likes to wander towards negative thoughts. Do you struggle with this like I do? Have you considered how much of an impact listening to yourself has on your life? Yes, I realize our culture encourages us to listen to ourselves but the Bible has a different take on our thought lives. Instead of listening to ourselves, we need to be talking to ourselves. I learned this Biblical concept from My Pastor, Dr. Kevin Carson, he calls this self-counsel.
Experts estimate that we have between 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot of thinking going on! We often passively let those thoughts scroll through our minds. Sure, sometimes those thoughts are positive, kind and benevolent towards everyone around us but honestly they often are not. This is especially true when things are not going our way. When a circumstance or a person disrupts our peace, happiness, or comfort, our thoughts tend to spiral downward. We need to be on guard because the Bible says that our thoughts are important. Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Our thoughts affect how we see the world around us, how we view God, ourselves, our circumstances and other people we interact with. Our responses flow out of what we are thinking about and meditating on; because of this we need to be taking each thought captive and practice active thinking.
The Bible teaches us that we need to be active in our thought life. God knows that we struggle in this area and He has equipped us with verses that are instructive and encouraging. He is our Creator and He knows that meditating on true thoughts is what is best for us, most glorifying to Him and the most beneficial to the people around us each day. 2 Corinthians tells us exactly what to do with each and every thought we have. It says that “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.” Have you ever noticed how active the language is in this verse? With words like demolish, and take captive, it gives the feeling of fighting a battle with our thought life, and that is exactly what we need to do.
Why this is so important
I shared with you some of my exact thoughts that I often have early in the morning before my day even gets started. When I meditate on the thought “I don’t want to get out of bed today” what is my view of God in this moment? I am saying that He is not good enough to get me through this day. I am believing He is not a God who provides. This passive way of thinking actually makes it harder for me to start my day and most likely will spill out on to my family and my friends as I interact with them. I am not viewing my circumstances in light of God’s truth. What if when that thought pops into my head instead of meditating on it, I compare it to Scripture and replace it with the truth. It might look something like this.
Lord, I feel weary this morning. I don’t want to get out of bed and face another day of challenges. But you tell me in your Word that you will provide for me what I need (Philippians 4:19). I know that you are a good God and everything you allow to happen today will be for Your glory and for my good (Romans 8:28). Help me today to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I will start now before I even get out of bed. Thank you Lord for Your provisions for this day, thank you Lord for the ability to get out of bed. I praise You for Your goodness. Most of all Lord thank You for my salvation and Your steadfast love (Psalm 13) . I know if all I had were those two things they would be enough for me to face this day.
Can you imagine what a huge difference this kind of thinking can make in our day? Our thoughts and even our actions will be more glorifying to God. Our hearts will be strengthened and we will show others around us that God is good. It will be clear that our strength and joy comes from Him and not our circumstances. I want to leave you with one of my favorite verses. I challenge you this week to write this verse down and put it where you spend a lot of your time. Practice taking each thought captive and meditate on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Instead of passively listening to yourself, begin to speak truth to yourself. In time, you just might find it a little bit easier to get out of bed in the morning to face each new day.
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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9)