By contributing writer Angela Clark Logan
This month we’ve been focusing on detoxing: our habits, our hearts, even our bodies.
Today I want to talk about detoxing our minds, our thoughts. Specifically the way we think about ourselves.
Because let’s face it, sometimes our thoughts are downright toxic.
At the beginning of the month – which also happened to be the beginning of a new year – many of us resolved to make changes in our lives. According to this article, only one in eight of us will actually keep those resolutions for the entirety of this year. For the other seven of us, this means that somewhere throughout the course of the year we will abandon our goals in a messy heap of failure.
We’ll toss them aside with a grumble and perhaps a heavy sigh, and our thoughts may go something like this:“Hmmph. I should’ve known I wouldn’t really be able to do that.” Sigh. “I’m never going to change.” “I’m such a failure.”
Each negative thought permeates our spirits like poison, hanging like a toxic cloud over our souls and threatening to suffocate the fruit that God’s Spirit is trying to grow in us: love, joy, peace…
Well, friends, it’s time to get rid of those nasty thoughts. Whether you made New Year’s resolutions or not (and whether you’ve succeeded at keeping them so far or not!), it’s time to do a little cognitive detox.
Romans 12:2 tells us that the way to truly be changed is by allowing God to renew our minds. I love the way the New Living Translation phrases it: “…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” I certainly want (and need!) to be transformed into a new person, and apparently my mind is the avenue that God will use to accomplish it!
So let’s get to work and start cleaning out those toxic, poisonous thoughts. Here are a few steps that I have come up with.
Detoxing Our Thoughts
1) We must ASK GOD TO CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK. We need to ask Him to help us see ourselves through His eyes. Scripture says we don’t receive because we don’t ask (James 4:2), so let’s start asking!
2) We should also ASK THE LORD TO MAKE US AWARE OF OUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS and then keep a list in our journals where we can add things as He brings them to our attention.
3) We must then REFUTE EACH OF THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WITH A TRUTH FROM SCRIPTURE. Need some help finding those truths? The Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a great resource.
4) When we find ourselves thinking negative thoughts, it is time to VERBALLY REBUKE THEM AND THEN IMMEDIATELY REPLACE THEM WITH TRUTH. That list in our journals becomes an invaluable resource when we need to quickly remind ourselves of God’s Truth. We need to speak that truth right out loud and let our own ears hear it, as well as those of our enemy the devil!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
God’s desire for us is not for us to live under the burden of negative, critical thoughts, but to walk in the freedom of knowing that we are His beloved children! It’s time to rid our minds of thoughts that would enslave us and replace them with God’s TRUTH that sets us free!
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one little detail: too many times our negative thinking spills past ourselves into the way we think about other people.
So instead of just being down on ourselves, we become critical, judgmental and – let’s face it – downright UNLOVING towards other people!
Well, GOOD NEWS. Those four steps we use to change the way we think about ourselves can be used just as effectively to change the way we think about others!
We can ASK GOD to CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK about others.
We can ASK HIM to make us AWARE OF OUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS.
We can REFUTE those negative thoughts WITH TRUTH.
We can verbally REBUKE and REPLACE those negative thoughts with TRUTH.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to “Fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” We have to be purposeful in focusing our minds on positive things! Especially those of us who have a natural tendency to be more critical. When we’re so used to calling out faults (whether real or perceived), it becomes difficult to see anything else. We have to be intentional about redirecting our thoughts so that they are lovely and admirable.
It just starts with a little detox.
Are you ready to detox your thoughts?