How can I change or control my thought life?

How can I change or control my thought life?

Paul's statement, "Think on these things" (Philippians 4:8), shows that we can choose the focus of our thoughts.

A controlled mind (1 Peter 1:13) characterizes normal Christian living. The power of the Spirit of God within and of devotion to Christ produces obedience to God's Word and likeness to Christ. Spiritually healthy habits - reading and meditating on the Word of God, confessing sins and communing with the Lord in prayer, maintaining wholesome relationships with others, and participating in the spiritual activities of an assembly -preserve us from most problems with an unholy thought life. Healthy Christian thinking is the byproduct of healthy Christian living.

A history of bad habits in thinking, of spiritual departure, or of inappropriate responses to circumstances in life will deepen problems in a believer's thought life. Replacing these habits with spiritual habits helps to change our thought life.

The remedy is focusing on Christ's loveliness and on things positive and Christ-honoring (Philippians 4:8).

Here are 4 suggestions:

1. When facing conditions that trigger wrong thoughts, read conveniently placed index cards on which you have written relevant Bible verses. This allows God's Word to speak to and strengthen your mind.

2. Prayerfully eliminate idle time, lonely interludes, or physical tiredness.

3. Cultivate the companionship of an omniscient God.

4. Carefully select your food. Some "food" you see and hear will sow seeds of wrong thoughts. Replace this with spiritually strengthening food. Listen to and sing songs rich in Biblical truth. By these means the word of Christ will dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16).

D. Oliver