2 Corinthians 10:5 encourages us to take every thought and make it captive (i.e., obedient) to Christ. But that’s easier said than done, right? How do you learn to control something as changeable and slippery as a thought?!
In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us some direction about how to train our thoughts to be pleasing to Christ: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
This verse can be a great tool in helping you train your mind to think in a way that pleases Christ. Before you freak out, I realize that’s a lot of things to remember at once. Don’t worry; I’m not expecting you to filter every thought through every adjective listed above at all times! But, you might try taking one trait for today and focusing on that. For example, how much do your thoughts center on things that are true? True according to the standard of God’s Word, true as in not deceitful, true estimations of yourself, your friends and your family. For one day, evaluate your thoughts and whether they are “true” or not.
Do this for a day. Focus on thinking about that one characteristic in relation to your thoughts. Then, the next day, move on to the next characteristic: honorable. Evaluate your thoughts according to this trait. And so on and so forth through all the traits.
Another way to do this would be to take one trait per week and focus on it until you’ve started to get it down a little. Then, the next week move on to another trait. Continue to run through the cycle and you’ll find that you are training your mind to be more Christ-like.
Growing spiritually isn’t always easy. It requires discipline, which is something we get tired of! We have to be disciplined in schoolwork, sports, music, chores, etc. Don’t we ever get a break?! Unfortunately, not in this area. If you want to know the Lord and grow in understanding of Him, it takes some practice. It’s not an immediate transition from sinner to saved to spiritual giant. There are a lot of steps in between that lead to a deeper, stronger faith in the Lord. Training your mind is one of them.