Why You Shouldn't Believe Everything You Think

Do you believe everything that comes across your television screen, or pops up on your computer? Of course not. Likewise, we should be careful that we don't believe everything we think. Some of the stuff which enters our mind has no business being there.

dan delzell opinion page

We all encounter a variety of "mental pop-ups" on a daily basis. When something pops into our mind, we instantly must decide whether to entertain that thought, or close it out. The quicker we close out any harmful thoughts, the easier it is to keep a mental virus from spreading throughout our heart and mind.

One way to filter our thoughts is to run everything through our common sense. But even that sensible approach has its limitations. There is actually an even better way to filter our thinking. It involves having our thoughts evaluated by what God says. If a particular thought is in line with God's revelation of truth as found in Scripture, then keep thinking that thought. On the other hand, if a thought runs contrary to God's revelation of truth, then close it out.

As Christians, we are called to "take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) Your mind is a battleground. Truth and error are all around you. But do you have the discernment and the desire to dismiss those thoughts which contradict God's revelation of truth? Or do you choose to simply believe almost anything you think?

It has been said, "Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny." And this is exactly why you and I shouldn't believe everything we think.

Each one of us is largely the product of our thought life. That's the way our Creator made us. And He is the only One who can keep us from destroying ourselves with our mind. God tells us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

Did you catch that? By choosing to think the right things, we are then able to correctly "test" and "approve" what God wants us to be doing. On the other hand, by choosing to focus upon unwholesome thoughts, we forfeit the ability to correctly discern the will of God. Straight thinking promotes more straight thinking. And crooked thinking promotes more crooked thinking.

The human mind is the most sophisticated computer in the world. And when it is fed wrong information, it is astounding how far man can stray from the path of righteousness and truth. Just because you or I think something, that doesn't make it true.

So what have you been thinking about recently? Have your thoughts been conforming to the pattern of the world? Or are you being transformed by the Lord through the renewing of your mind? Thinking about Christ and meditating on Scripture brings personal renewal.

The apostle Paul knew a little bit about noble thinking. Paul wrote, "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." (Philippians 4:8) And if we would put that directive into practice every hour, our lives would be constantly flowing in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, we offend the Holy Spirit when we choose to concentrate on things which are impure and wrong. Such thinking leads to wrong living. And God is never the author of impure thinking and wrong living.

So are you ready to begin controlling your thoughts, rather than having your thoughts control you? If so, it will be necessary to get in sync with the One who gave you a brain, a heart, and a mind. By focusing on God's love for you, and on His Word, you will stimulate the kind of thinking you were created to experience.

So don't believe everything you think. Instead, "fix your thoughts on Jesus." (Hebrews 3:1) That way, your thinking will protect you from damaging your life and the lives of those around you. And it will inspire you to aim high for your Savior who loves you and gave His life for your eternal salvation.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

Free Religious Freedom Updates

Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.