The science is inexact and the terms not well defined, but humans can have anywhere between 20,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day, maybe more. Our entire lives are spent thinking. There is not a single moment you aren’t brain-deep in inner monologue. Naturally, thoughts are important. The Bible agrees: there are dozens of verses relating to guarding your mind and your heart against evil, and about the connection between your thought life and other aspects of your life. Today, I’ll focus on just two of those verses to help you think more beautifully.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV says this: “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.”
This is in the context of the wars we wage against worldly things and the weapons we use. Basically, the battle begins in the mind. 70,000 a day is a huge battlefield, but we have a secret weapon: take every thought captive. Discipline is necessary, but when you recognize a thought that “sets itself up against the knowledge of God” – a malicious or selfish thought about another person, a poor attitude regarding something in your life, or even just doubting God’s love for you – take that thought captive and don’t offer parole.
It’s not enough merely to stop a thought in its tracks; you can’t kill an idea. Even locked away in your mind’s prison, you can be poisoned by a subversive thought. You must immediately correct your thinking by replacing the offensive thought with a better one, based in truth.
“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.” -Philippians 4:8 NIV.
These are the beautiful thoughts we must dwell on in order to lead more positive and peaceful lives, in line with God’s will and instruction. How you think influences how you live, and your heart guides your actions. Reflecting on your thoughts and deciding what is worth being one of the 70,000 is one of the most important steps of your journey – one you must take daily. Everything – from who you are to what you believe, what you say, what you do – it all pours from your mind.
Take your thoughts captive because in order to live right, you must think beautifully.