Have you ever had an unpleasant conversation, negative encounter or traumatic experience that you found yourself replaying over and over and over in your mind? How much anger, anxiety and stress does this unproductive habit cause? Why do we subject ourselves to such agony?
With the recent passing of our daughter, my thoughts have been thoroughly consumed with “what ifs,” “only ifs,” “whys,” and “why nots.” Last week, I felt myself once again slipping into an abyss of overwhelming grief as I entertained these thoughts hour after hour, minute after minute, day in and day out. I finally asked myself- is this what my life will be now? A constant replay of my deepest pain? A continuous reliving of my darkest hour?
It was in that moment that I decided that I must take control of my thoughts. That meant making a conscious decision not to hit the play button on the horror story I’ve been living since March 2nd. In that moment, I had to decide that I would make an intentional, disciplined effort not to repeatedly press rewind while going through the motions of this thing called life.
How do we bring our thoughts into subjection?
Phillipians 4:8 says: …”whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
II Cor. 10:5 says “Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.“
This does not mean that every thought will be one of roses and sunshine. We will experience dark and painful thoughts and emotions. Yet, we can make a conscious effort not to drown in the unrelenting waves that come to take us under. We can fight to the surface in an effort to breath in God’s new mercies and behold the many blessings present before us.
When was the last time you found yourself drowning in a sea of unfruitful thought?
Next time you find your thoughts in a rut, think on “things that are lovely.” Remember the good times. Count your many blessings. Do something that makes you happy. Encourage yourself. Encourage someone else. Seek help. Surround yourself with people that love and support you. Take it one day at a time. One moment at a time. And as always…….
Be motivated for greater. Choose faith over fear!