As a kid I had a wild imagination. For years I would lay in bed at night, afraid of the things that my mind believed. My bedroom was on the first floor and it scared me to death. I was always afraid that some “mad man” was looking at me through the small opening on the side of the window shade. Since I was the youngest in my family, I always had to go to bed before everyone else and I used to lay in bed worried that my family might really be aliens. I believed that during the day they disguised themselves as humans, and at night they revealed their true alien forms.
I know what you are thinking. My husband thought the same thing; “You are weird!” But am I? Maybe as a kid your thoughts weren’t as absurd as mine, but I’m sure you had fears that are just as laughable.
We all know that the things we were scared of as kids were just part of our imagination, but as adults we still have thoughts that are just as fearful for us today. Thoughts like; My life will never get better than this; I’ll never get married; What if my husband or child dies?; No one likes or respects me; I’ve messed up too much; I don’t deserve great things for my life; There’s nothing in life worth living for; and the list goes on…
If we continue to live with these false perceptions, they can become like a cancer that spreads, eating away at who we are and leaving us with no hope for tomorrow.
Our thoughts can penetrate and manipulate our mind in such a deep way that we begin to think poorly of ourselves and we often become paralyzed with fear. Our mind alone has the power to either lead us into despair and hopelessness, or give us the confidence to live a life of joy and peace. Romans 8:6 says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
The reason so many of us struggle with our thoughts and allow our imagination to take over is because we aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to control our minds. Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
The dangerous pattern we fall into from early childhood is that we let everything going on around us determine our thoughts. The key to stopping this unhealthy and paralyzing cycle is to allow the Spirit of God to renew our thoughts on a daily basis. We have to choose to do what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, 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.”
What negative thoughts have you been believing that need to be replaced with the truth?