Words of Hope: Every Thought Captive

Dad valued quality thinking. For most of us, we assume whatever we think about is reality. A thought enters our head, and we unequivocally believe it. Dad told me to imagine thoughts like people trying to get into an exclusive event. Significant events have security to make sure no one dangerous enters. I put guards at the door of my mind. Any thought that entered had to be scrutinized and given review whether it should be allowed time in my mind. 

Dad loved applying the “Philippians 4 Test,” Paul gives us the criteria of thoughts we should take time to think on. The qualities of great thoughts are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. What a great list!

As a thought comes to mind, I imagine a waiting room where the Holy Spirit helps me discern whether these thoughts should spend time in my mind. Take time to fast from the news and instead memorize scripture or poetry. Talk about meaningful topics rather than what is going wrong in the world. Think well of others rather than ruminating on negative, fearful, bitter, or frustrated stories— these are all ways we can take every thought captive and only allow what is beautiful and of God into our minds.

“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