I’m noticing the stark difference between thoughts we want to think and the thoughts that sneak up on us when we’re just not paying attention.
Our minds are a symphony of ideas and perceptions, things we notice, and hopes we carry. And when the thoughts are working together—kind and purposeful, intentional and positive—our thoughts can carry us into the most beautiful of places—the walls of our mind decorated with hope and beauty and love.
But the opposite can be true as well—discordant notes squeaking out from the over-confident violinist hiding in the back. They’re thoughts that creep up when we’re tired, when we’re not paying attention, when we let just one slip, and then another and another.
And these kinds of thoughts reproduce like a cancer—one negative or insecure thought inviting all of his friends to the party until our minds are full of strangers that are bumping and breaking all of the treasures we hold most dear.
This is my greatest struggle.
My battlefield lies in the depths of my mind—the place where I wage the worst battles, and tend to lose the most too.
My thoughts, when they’re at their best, create a wonderland around me— weaving and dancing through life, noticing the lovely and the magical and the kind. They give me special eyes to notice the best parts of life, and God waiting to be found in every single bit of it.
But like most things in life, my mind is not always an easy place to be, and like most things, sometimes it can be gut-wrenchingly hard.
It usually happens without me noticing. One thought creeps in, and I allow it to stay—waving it in with the rest of the party guests, not taking the time to notice that it’s an impostor.
Rejection and insecurity—accusing and horrible—enter my mind, thinly disguised as friends there to tell me the truth.
And when I’ve let a few too many of the lie’s nasty friends in my door, I look around at my life, and everything they’re saying feels true.
I don’t question their logic. I don’t question their presence in my brain. I accept their horrible message and allow it to dictate my reality.
Was that a weird look? They must be mad at me. He must not love me anymore.
But the best news here is that God knows all about this. Which always makes me feel a lot better.
God knows that the hardest battles happen within the walls of our minds, and so he gave us some hints on fighting back.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”
~2nd Corinthians 10:5
We have to pay attention to the thoughts that are in our minds—not letting even a small one slip by. We have to remember that one turns into two, turns into 100—which leaves us shaky, insecure, and confused.
We have to run around with a butterfly net, snatching the lies out of the air, and sending them back where they came from—someplace ugly and really far away. But we don’t have to do it alone.
It’s like when the parents come home to the house with the party—picking up sticky Solo cups and herding all of the hooligans out the back door—threatening to call their parents.
This is what Jesus does in my mind. He helps me turn on the lights and herd the liars out. He replaces the hurt and shakiness they left behind with truth and a cool fresh start. And only then do my eyes clear up, allowing me to see the world as it really is again.
Only then can I see that the weird look wasn’t that at all, and only then can I hear the loving words that are spoken to me, and fully believe them.
And when our minds are free of lies, they can be filled with the knowledge of God again—with his eyes, his joy, his peace and love—hanging our precious treasures back on the walls of our mind, knowing that they’re safe and so are we.
What lies do you find yourself believing? How do you take them captive?