I've been thinking and meditating a lot on this verse lately ... actually longer than lately ... for years ... because I struggle with it so much ...
"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." 2 Corinthians 10:5
The Message version describes these arguments as "warped philosophies" and better yet, says we should be "fitting every loose thought and emotion, and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ."
I love that.
EVERY loose thought, emotion, or impulse that doesn't line up with a life shaped by Christ should be cast down immediately.
It should be easy, right?
I mean ... I'm a Christian. I live my life as such. I've devoted my life to a life of service to God and have lived this way for over 20 years. This is not rocket science. My thought pattern should be that of Christ. Done.
Problem is ... the wandering (loose) thoughts and then the emotions that are out of control and the impulses that follow. Y'all ... my brain ... it works overtime. So many thoughts, so little space or time. I found out yesterday I'm not the only one. Whew. I'm not crazy after all. Yay me!
I learned from reading Lysa Terkeurst's book, "Unglued", how the brain works. I found this extremely interesting and now I understand why my mind instantly goes in a lot of the directions it does. Listen to this brain research fact:
(Yes. Brain research. Try to contain your excitement.)
"When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what's called a memory trace."
Interesting, right? When we think of something the same, more than once, we just got a memory trace. Now ... hold on ... there's more.
"When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger."
So ... same thought, then tied to an emotion = deeper memory trace. Then the more we think it, the more we have the same emotion, the deeper it gets. Any time we access that thought, we deepen that memory trace.
So, if we continue to think the same thoughts with the same feelings or emotions, how much harder will it be to change our thought pattern and perspective?
It will take time. And work.
The hard stuff.
Problem is when we've been thinking this way for so long, our thoughts are automatic. No thinking is actually required.
That's the moment the change has to be made.
There are patterns of thinking in my own life that I know need changing. I have to consciously take a moment and allow the Holy Spirit to do it.
It's not easy. And, like I said, it takes many times of creating a new thought pattern to change the old one. But, I know it can be done.
When those thought patterns creep up on us ... saying things like you're not good enough, you'll never get out of your situation, you don't deserve better, you'll always be alone, just forget about your dreams or goals because they're not going to happen, and so on and so forth ... because those things do come up and so many others ... that's when you immediately cast them down. Basically tell your mind to shut up. Yep. It has to be done.
Then, speak out loud to yourself, the truth of what God says and promises for you. Your brain needs to hear it.
Hey ... You're not alone. I'm working on it too.