What is the most outrageous thought you’ve had?
Moving to Paris even though you can’t speak French? Trading your life in a normal house for a tiny home and minimalism? Getting an exotic pet? Buying a luxury car? Training to break a world record?
We’ve all had completely ridiculous thoughts. Some are downright silly and unrealistic. But the ones that trip us up are the ones that seem more realistic.
What if my boss called me in for a meeting because I’m getting fired? What if my friend secretly hates me? What if I actually look horrible in this dress even though I feel beautiful? What if something bad happens while I’m on vacation?
Your Thoughts Are Not Always Reality
We just can’t believe every thought we think. Sometimes our beliefs are nothing more than practiced thoughts that have no basis in reality.
Take worry, for example. Like all the questions asked above, we lose sleep thinking about potential future scenarios that haven’t happened yet.
Worry is a thought, often a scary one, but just a thought that’s not true in the present moment.
Worry occurs when we let our minds wander to things we can’t control, hoping that thinking about it will somehow give us more control. In reality, worrying only leads to more worry.
And the thoughts we have while worrying aren’t based in reality. How could they be? They haven’t happened yet, or they haven’t been confirmed in the real world yet.
For example, your self-doubts or lack of confidence are often the result of worrying about how other people perceive you or what you fear they may be thinking.
Since no one can read minds, your worry thoughts are often based more on fear rather than on reality. And worry focuses your energy around what you can’t control. It weakens you and robs you of peace.
What You Think Impacts Your Body
Our brains and bodies respond to all our thoughts, even the outrageous ones, as if the thoughts are true.
That’s why we have emotional reactions to things that we can’t prove to be true.
For example, have you ever gotten mad at someone who you thought intentionally cut you off in traffic? Would you feel differently if you knew they simply didn’t see you?
We have a choice: Our thoughts can bring misery, or they can bring peace. We have to decide which one.
So we must be diligent with our thoughts.
“Stand guard at the portal of your mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In other words, be very careful with what you allow into your mind and what you focus on.
Why? Because our thoughts, especially lies, impact our bodies and our reactions.
Our thoughts can make us mad at someone we haven’t spoken to. Get us upset with our spouse for something they could say.
Worry makes our back muscles tight and our stomachs feel sick. Anxiety gives us headaches and exhaustion.
All because our thoughts roam wild, going into dark, unknown places that are not based in reality.
How To Keep Your Thoughts True
So how do we keep our thoughts pure? By asking ourselves simple questions:
Is it true?
Would it stand up in court? (Objective evidence for the thought exists)
Is it helpful?
Is it bringing peace or joy to think this way?
Will thinking this way make me a better, healthier, stronger, more loving person?
“Take all thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 10:5
In other words, is this thought/belief aligned with God’s word? Is it helping me to live a life of peace and joy?
If not, then replace it with the truth of God’s word which ushers in grace, hope, forgiveness and love.
Here’s God’s prescription for worry:
“Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” – Philippians 4:8 (TPT)
The bottom line: Your soul prospers when your thoughts are true.
If you're reading this, then chances are you have negative thoughts entering your mind often.
If you've tried to fix it yourself, but still haven't found success, then I'm here to help you. I can help you learn how to stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks.
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