I was listening to a sermon by Joyce Meyer the other day. She was preaching on, “Thinking.” She says our minds are a battlefield between good and evil thoughts. We can choose our thoughts, she says, and I believe her.
She said she used to wake up each day thinking about how she didn’t want to get out of bed because she had to do the same old thing: cleaning up after other people. She would think about how no one helped her and no one cared.
I used to wake up thinking, “I wish I was dead.” I hated living with my mental illness; I was tired of fighting it. Like Joyce, I felt there was no reason to get out of bed. I was totally bored with my life now that I no longer babysat my granddaughter. I tried to interest myself with new things, but everything felt grey and flat.
I learned through therapy I needed to have some positive thinking in my life. And I knew through Joyce I had to quote scripture and praise God first thing upon waking. This is what I do and it works. This morning I thought, “I’m conscious. What a nightmare.” Sheesh. The thoughts I have are unbelievable! But Joyce said in her sermon that we have to realize it is Satan giving us these bad thoughts. He wants us to give up on life and not trust God. I don’t have to believe those thoughts.
I rarely ever think about Satan, but I have to admit she is right. Satan tempted Jesus with thoughts when he was in the wilderness. Jesus quoted scripture and then told Satan to go away. We can do the same.
The thoughts Joyce and I used to have made us angry, depressed and resentful towards others. Not a pretty picture. We all get these thoughts, but we don’t have to dwell on them like I did. We can notice them and then ask God to throw them into the depths of the sea. Then think about something good. This works the same for lustful or hateful thoughts. Don’t be surprised you have them; don’t dwell on them.
Jesus said, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” Matthew 15:18-20
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 1Peter 4:2