Did you know the average person has 60,000 thoughts a day, and 80% of them are negative?
That means at the root of the things going on in our minds, there are 48,000 thoughts a day bringing us down.
48,000 things we have 100% control over, we allow to destroy us. Every. Single. Day.
No wonder by the time we get home to our families we are worn out, irritable, unrecognizable versions of ourselves. No wonder we get snappy at our coworkers. No wonder we don’t respond in love at the checkout line when the cashier is less than friendly. No wonder we feel inferior and worry about things completely out of our control. No wonder we stare at our social media feeds in envy of what others are doing. No wonder globally we spend about $15.9 billion a year on antidepressants and $1.45 trillion a year on alcohol.
No wonder God reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) that “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
God knew we were going to struggle with the negative living in a world of Sin. He knew Satan would use negative thoughts to destroy us, to destroy our relationships, to ruin our families, and to drive us away from Him. It’s why He instructed us to take our thoughts captive.
In Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) He reminds us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
How do you guard your heart and take every thought captive? How do you tell the Negative Committee inside your head they’re fired and replace them with a Positive Committee?
These three steps are a start:
1. Choose Humility Over Pride
Philippians 2:3 (NIV) reminds us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Humility solves a lot of problems. When you stop looking out for your best interests and instead put the best interests of others in front of your own, negative thoughts fade away.
Why are you worried about tomorrow’s meeting? Because you’re worried about how the outcome will affect YOU … instead of trusting God.
Why are you worried about having the difficult conversation with your spouse?
Because you’re worried about how the outcome will affect YOU … instead of trusting God.
Why are you angry about how the turn of events happened?
Because you’re worried about how others now see YOU … instead of how God sees you.
Humility takes YOU out of the equation. It’s tough to do in a world that tells you to put you first instead of trusting God and His plan.
Proverbs 11:2 (NIV) reminds us, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
2. Practice the Fruits of the Spirit
Negative thoughts often cause us to respond from a place of anger, frustration, or bitterness instead of from a place of love.
Whenever hatred, discord, jealousy, or fits of rage overtake you, pause and reread Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) which reminds us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Ask God to help you live in the Fruits of the Spirit.
3. Choose Scripture Over Sin
Romans 6:13 (NIV) reminds us, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.“
When you’re struggling with negative thoughts, pick up your Bible and ask God to help you let go of the thoughts so you can experience the life He wants you to experience.
When you’re not sure where to start, simply pray Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV) “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”