I know I’m not the only one who has had toxic thoughts, the kind that finds their way into our heads and then wreak havoc in our lives.
Maybe someone did something that set you off. Perhaps it’s something that has been stewing in your heart and mind. You have again been reminded of hurt, and BAM!, that toxic, self-deprecating thought sets up camp between your ears.
Years ago, I heard a quote by Martin Luther.
“You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair.”
I didn’t have a clue what that meant till I was told that it was about our thought life.
We can’t stop intrusive thoughts from coming to us, but we sure can stop them from taking up residence in our minds. Thankfully the Scriptures help us navigate these thoughts. If we zero in, lay them down and trade them in, we can experience the freedom that comes when we hear the voice of God’s Spirit.
“Examine me, O God, and know my mind. Test me and know my thoughts.” Psalms 139:23
God knows our thoughts. All of them.
And the thoughts that are pulling us away from him need to be acknowledged so they don’t keep seeping into our life. When you have thoughts that come up that you know aren’t from God, write them down and begin to zero in on the enemy’s lies or what areas he’s trying to wreak havoc in your life.
Every time you hear a voice inside saying something destructive or harmful against you, especially something you repeatedly hear, write it down and acknowledge it as false.
Don’t be mistaken. It’s a toxic thought from someone who wants to destroy you. Zero in and call it what it is.
Lay them down.
“We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5b
With the help of the Spirit, we can experience power over our thoughts – the ability to bring our thoughts to Him and to make them conform to His thoughts about us.
There is a story in 2 Kings chapter 19 where King Hezekiah receives a letter from his enemy and brings it to the temple. There he lays it before the altar, giving it to God to take care of it. We need to bring the toxic thoughts that have been making a home in our minds, written out, and lay them down like Hezekiah did and never pick them up again.
The only place to bring the lies of Satan is to the cross. Consider spending some time each day in prayer and praise as you bring your list of toxic thoughts and lies.
Trade them in.
“The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways.” Isaiah 55:8
Personally, I am not good at coming up with good thoughts about who I am on my own. I am just too hard on myself.
However, when I reflect on the things that God says about me, I often leave feeling encouraged. Like a tree that is transplanted from one spot to another, we need to transplant God’s ideas of us into our minds so that they can grow and become the dominant thoughts in our lives.
We need to replace toxic thoughts with the truth that our Creator has about us.
You are significant.
You are loved.
You are a mighty man.
You are forgiven,
Invite the Holy Spirit to speak His truth over you as you confess the lies you’ve believed. Jesus called him the Spirit of truth for a reason. (John 15:26)