“Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” — Philippians 4:8
Mindless thinking. Quite the oxymoron.
But looking past that, there is an element of truth in that phrase.
I can be reading my physics book at school, and I go to flip the page, then realize that I didn’t comprehend anything that I just read. My mind was someplace else.
And what’s even worse, is that half the time it’s not on something lovely, worthy, pure, etc. That poses as a problem… contradicts what should be thinking about in the verse at the top.
What am I thinking about in those moments? Probably about someone I like. And comparing myself to someone else. Maybe a hint of jealous thoughts, too. That isn’t exactly what we need to be thinking about, is it?
I believe it’s long over-due time for change. I’m serious. I, personally, cannot go on thinking trash. It’s tearing my ID down — demolishing my confidence.
And honestly, I hate the sick feeling in my heart that I’m left with after my “mindless thinking” sessions.
There was a poetic quote I read recently. I believe it’s truth. “Transgressions in secret lead to shame in the dark. Righteousness is life to the soul and joy to the heart.”
Anyone else tired of this shame of empty living and habitual sin? Let’s start living in the light — we CAN do this!
So. What’s on your mind right now?
If it isn’t exactly what’s mentioned in Philippians 4, then you’re probably wondering what to do about remedying it — I was exactly there last month.
I decided that it was time enough to end my fleshly way of living and start walking in the Spirit. Golly, what a challenge that is.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it perfectly. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
But, after all, that’s what The Rebelution is all about — doing hard things, right?
Here are some quick points that helped me overcome my bad thought patterns.
1. As Joyce Meyer suggests, “Ask God to make you aware every time you’re thinking wrong thoughts. Don’t let me just sit around and think stupid stuff. Make me aware when I’m thinking bad thoughts.”
2. Do a mental investigation to see if your thoughts align with the verse at the top. If they don’t, choose to think about what is mentioned in it. Repeat throughout the day.
3. Galatians 5:16–18 tells us, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.” If we ask Christ to help us live by the Spirit and not by our flesh, He will help us! He is a faithful God.
4. Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for when you’ve messed up, even if you’ve messed up more times then you’d care to admit.
C.S. Lewis said it this way, “Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?” This is beautiful because God shows His strength in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
(If there is anything that you’re struggling with, please let me know and I’d be glad to pray for you! Remember, with Christ, we CAN do this — Philippians 4:13 says so!)
We can overcome. God believes in you and I do, too.
Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!
There are currently __ Comment(s)
There are currently __ Comment(s)
I felt like this article was written just for me. I have been struggling the last week with letting my mind go places I shouldn’t, and have been trying so hard to not beat myself up over it. I would be thinking something entirely unrelated, then see something that triggered those thoughts, and the only way to get my mind back on track was prayer. I had asked for God’s forgiveness, and knew that He had given it to me, but I still felt dirty for continually going back to those thoughts.
When you said, “Forgive yourself for when you’ve messed up, even if you’ve messed up more times then you’d care to admit”, it clicked for me. I also need to remove anything from my life that I know can trigger sinful thoughts, and that will help me in the long run. Thank you for writing this! Blessings! 🙂
I am thankful that this article was helpful – I will be praying for you, Carolyn! God is faithful to deliver us from temptations when we call upon Him. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The truths of this article make me stand in awe of God’s grace once again. God is so faithful when our minds are distracted and trashy. This is a very good reminder not only for teenagers but for 23 year olds guys as well. I struggle a lot with comparing myself to others and feeling horrible about that. If I focus on how so and so is better than me, my day is ruined and I am much less productive for myself and my service to God. Sometimes I write out Bible verses on note cards to read throughout the day when my mind is distracted and getting off track. Thank you!
Yes! Just remember what God says about you when you’re tempted to compare yourself to the outside version of others (and think less of yourself because of it) – you are royal (1 Peter 2:9), you are Jesus’s friend (John 15:15), you are accepted (Romans 15:7), God will satisfy you (Philippians 4:19), you are greatly loved by God (Ephesians 2:4), and you are set FREE (Galatians 5:1)! Praying for you!
Yes! Thank you so much Kaylee for writing this! This is something that I was convicted of many years ago, and from that point on it has been a huge journey for me, learning to stay away from trashy thoughts (as a girl, these thoughts are mostly about romance) and submit my mind to God. After all, He owns it, I gave it over to Him when I became a Christian!
Thanks again for putting this issue out there!
Awesome! So thankful that you have a sensitivity to the Lord and a desire to follow His leading. I totally get the struggle with romantic thoughts – I’ve been there often. But I’ve learned a key…giving our heart to God isn’t a one time thing – I, personally, find that I have to do it several times a day. When I find myself drifting into such thoughts, I have to quiet my mind and humbly give myself to God, once again. You are wonderful, Cassie! You’re in my prayers.
So true! I totally agree, submitting isn’t just a once-off, I’ve had to learn that too. 🙂 Thank for you prayers Kaylee, I’m praying for you too!
Thinking is so dangerous, but usually does more than people think. I am brought down almost everyday by a certain thing that happened between me and a really good friend. I know that feeling you get when you feel so terrible, think you’re terrible, and think someone else thinks of you as terrible. Dwelling on that thought makes me feel terrible all day. Personally I don’t struggle with thinking about useless stuff that I forget 30 seconds later, but I don’t stop thinking about trying to become the best I can (I don’t believe that get’s you into heaven) which brings up the thought of what’s going on between my friend and I and it crushes me from wanting to even be by the people. I want to help out with fundraisers, talk about serious things in people’s life, but I can’t even do those things and actually benefit others when I’m by people because even people who don’t even know me that well can tell that something’s wrong. Does anyone have any advice that can possibly be spoken by the holy spirit?
I’m sorry to hear that you’re in turmoil. Not knowing what’s happened between you and your friend, the best advice I have is to ask forgiveness from them (if you’ve done something hurtful), forgive them (if they’ve done something hurtful), and to forgive yourself. Then release it to God because you’re not meant to carry this heavy burden. God still loves you! Praying!
So, what is someone supposed to do when they have a question about God? i have asked quite a few on this site, especially when i find myself doubting or wondering about the goodness of God in a world where so many innocent people suffer for the wrongs of the guilty… do we just throw out the questions because it seems like there is no answer, or how do we deal with stuff like that? i really love the article, very good and real life…
If you have any questions, I’d be glad to try my best at answering them.
Thank you so much for this article Kaylee! Recently I’ve been realizing more and more that my thoughts have been trailing off to places they shouldn’t be. I’m not sure if that’s simply because I’m becoming more aware of it or its happening more often, but either way it needs to stop. This article will be great for me as I’m trying set guidelines for myself in order to keep my thought life in check. Thanks again!
My pleasure! You’ll be in my prayers as you set out on this path – just know that God is always there. And when failure befalls, forgive yourself because we aren’t perfect, but Jesus’s love is!
Thanks so much Kaylee! I need this reminder. I often dismiss that verse because it is used SO much, but it is truth that I utterly need. Thank you!
Thank you so much for this article. I’ve read Philippians 4:8 so many times, and I even have it marked, but this helped bring a better understanding of the verse to me. My mind has been wondering, racing, and worrying a lot lately. I’ve been praying for help from God, and this was His answer! I have just recently started a Do Hard Things study with a group of kids willing to take up the challenge, and I would really appreciate your prayers. Again, thank you for the article. God is great, and may He be with you.
That’s wonderful! I sure will be praying for that.
And I agree…God IS great!
Hmmm. Where in the Bible does it say that God believes in us? We believe in Christ and that is why we can do all things; for Christ strengthens us.
Good article, otherwise. I struggle with mindless thinking especially when I need to focus the most!
A few years ago I had these really bad thoughts and I struggled with them. When I got into high school I rededicated my life to Christ and my thought process started to change and I do not have those thoughts anymore. Though, sometimes I am tempted to think of those horrible thoughts. But remind myself of Phil. 4:8 and I fight the temptation. Next time I am tempted to think those thoughts, I will remember those four things. Love the Joyce Meyer quote!
Wow, it was meant for me to read this!! Its so annoying when I allow my mind to think on crazy and pointless sinful things. Thank you Lord for showing me this!!!
Thank you! I’ve been thinking negative thoughts as a student-athlete and with the verse Philippians 4:13 I’m refreshed. Thank you.
Wow! I never thought about how much you need a pure heart, and mind. I will definitely use those practical applications when I find I am not thinking of true, noble, just, and lovely things.