Guilt ate away at my core and all I wanted to do was cry.
It was the middle of a beautiful day full of sunshine and warm temperatures, but my soul felt cold. I had just left my husband with words of criticism and a barely kiss on the cheek. Then I got into my car and away I drove.
Only I couldn’t stop thinking about my attitude, my words, and my response to his needs.
My stomach ached because I knew I was wrong. I knew I should have been graceful, loving, and supportive. All morning I thought long and hard about the apology I would later give.
And then I realized something profound.
My thoughts and my attitude were inwardly focused and my prepared apology was all about ensuring that my husband understood I had been hurt.
Truth like that stings, doesn’t it?
And then I realized something else.
I had not spent time in the Word that morning. I had not lifted my day or my heart as a sacrifice to the Lord. I had not asked for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I had not allowed my thoughts, or my heart, to be taken captive to the Lord.
And my soul was feeling the impact.
Second Corinthians 10:4-6 tells us that the weapons we have been given are not of this world, and that we have power through Christ to tear down arguments and anything that is against God. And this power? It comes from daily submitting to the power of God in our lives and taking our thoughts captive.
When I realized that my morning flew by without thoughts of grace, love, God’s work in my heart, or my own humble submission, I recognized that my ability to combat the things of the world was weak.
How can we fight against the things of the world?
Here are fifteen ways to take your thoughts captive throughout your day.
- Listen to nothing but Christian music for 30 days. KLove Radio hosts this challenge and you can find out more information here.
- Pray the promises of God and claim them in your heart.
- Post Scripture verses throughout your home – on your mirror, the fridge, by the coffee maker, on your nightstand, etc.
- Replace all negativity with a statement about who you are in Christ.
- Memorize Scripture. Hold fast to the truths of the Bible.
- While you are doing household chores, praise God for the gift of a family to nurture.
- Listen to podcasts and sermons about the gospel of grace.
- Rebuke thoughts from the devil by proclaiming truth out loud.
- Read articles, blog posts, books, and bible study guides that preach truth.
- Ask a friend to hold you accountable, and practice taking your thoughts captive together through honest conversation and practical encouragement.
- Take notes during the sermon at your church and think back on the Scripture that was preached.
- Pray with your children and spouse before bed each night, asking for pure and righteous thoughts throughout the next day.
- Evaluate your emotions and dig deep for the root of negativity. Ask God to help you with this process.
- Spend 5-10 minutes a day practicing solitude. Use this time to cultivate a thankful heart for God’s many blessings and provisions.
- Think before you speak. How do your words encourage gospel-centered growth in your life and the lives of those you’re talking with?
Don’t feel like you must jump in and begin doing all fifteen of these things today. Choose one or two and begin to implement it throughout your day. Eventually, I believe that you will notice the fruit of taking your thoughts captive and it will begin to feel more natural.
That incident with my husband was not instantly resolved because I quoted a verse of memorized Scripture to myself.
Rather, that incident was covered in grace when I let real Biblical truth seep into my heart. It took intentionally seeking this truth throughout the rest of my day, replacing thoughts of guilt with verses about free grace, and having the hard conversation with my husband about my true motives.
This is an example of the power of taking your thoughts captive! Walk forward knowing that the power we have through Christ is nothing like the power of this world.
And that is a beautiful reality.
Alison is a wife, graduate student, blogger, and Jesus-follower growing in grace and truth daily. She loves coffee in the morning, experimenting in the kitchen, camping with her husband, and reading in a hammock just about anywhere. Her blog – Life of Scoop – exists to encourage authentic community grounded in biblical truth. Basically, it’s some good soul talk in the midst of the mundane. Follow Life of Scoop on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.