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Christian Life

How to Stop Thinking Unholy Thoughts

One of the most difficult things about living a Christian life isn’t refusing temptation, though that certainly is difficult–it’s keeping our minds from thinking unholy or impure thoughts. These thoughts can range from lustful ones to discouraging thoughts about ourselves, and even include thoughts that encourage self-harm.

In our lives we are bombarded with images that we compare ourselves to; situations, like bullying, that can cause depression; and let’s not forget that major contributor to unholy thoughts…cute boys! No one is immune!

Thankfully, the Bible talks about this.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

When we think unholy thoughts, these thoughts try to exalt or raise themselves up against God’s truth. Paul says in the passage above that we’re supposed to take these thoughts “captive to the obedience of Christ.”

What this means is that we need to submit these unholy thoughts to God, more specifically, to God’s Word. We need to learn God’s Word so that we know which verses are useful to fight our unholy thoughts.

When you recognize an unholy thought, speak to it in your heart and mind. Find a Scripture that tells you the truth about yourself or your behavior and read that verse (out loud or to yourself). Then speak to that unholy thought and tell it that you are not going to believe its lie or destructive influence. Instead, you are choosing to believe God’s truth! Be firm!

Let’s take a mild example.

Unholy thought: “I have no talent, I’m not good at anything.”

A Scripture to fight this thought: 1 Cor. 12:7; 11 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Conclusion/Prayer: I’m talented and there are things that I’m really good at. I know this because the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:7 and 11 that each of us is given gifts of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter if my gifts are not the same as those of my friend. It’s okay that I haven’t discovered what my gifts are yet. I trust the Word of God and believe that He has given each person, including me, gifts by the power of His Holy Spirit and He will help me discover what they are at the right time.

What helps you change unholy thinking?

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).

Image: Ron Chapple Studios | Thinkstock


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  1. Leftie

    Posted by Leftie on January 17, 2017 at 19:36

    Do “cute boys” need to cover up so girls don’t have “impure thoughts”? Or is that just a female thing to you guys (Christians)?

  2. Christian.girl4

    Posted by Christian.girl4 on February 25, 2014 at 12:28

    Awesome! <3

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by hugsnkisses0706 on August 9, 2012 at 16:22


  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by Kasey on March 6, 2012 at 15:26

    Ugh, I always have this problem, and I HATE it. Its like I can’t look at guys without being barraged by evil. Does anyone else have this problem?

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by 1_artist on March 5, 2012 at 15:58

    Thank you very much.

  6. Christina

    Posted by Christina on March 5, 2012 at 15:13

    Thanx so much for this article it is something I really needed 🙂

  7. miss_anita

    Posted by miss_anita on March 3, 2012 at 12:50

    Hi I was wondering because I really enjoyed this article if you were able to make an article on what do when you feel like everybody hates you even your own mother because right now i just feel like a huge disappointment to my mother it doesn’t help that i haven”t been reading my bible i hope you can help me out on this one it would mean a lot thanksx

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sweetchild on March 2, 2012 at 15:17

    Thank you so much. I struggled with this for as long as I can remember. I am currently trying to change my negative thoughts, and this is exactly what I needed. God bless you 🙂

  9. tyt_s

    Posted by tyt_s on March 1, 2012 at 04:22

    wonderful article!

  10. Paris

    Posted by Paris on February 28, 2012 at 21:06

    I’ve always tried to get rid of these thoughts on my own by ignoring them. More I tried,the more intense they got.Now,I know how to handle them. I really needed this.Thanks a million Jennifer!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by DaughterofChrist on March 27, 2012 at 16:16

      most definately! i need this too! the people at my school have infested my mind and my thoughts with bad language, nasty inapropriate stuff and etc. i really need to get into this!

  11. Superchick101

    Posted by Superchick101 on February 28, 2012 at 18:08

    A verse that helped me was “Repay no one evil for evil… for “Vengeance is mine” says the Lord” in Romans, Romans 12:17,18 I believe. My mom would always quote that verse to me when I was in trouble for fighting with my sisters.

    Thanks so much for this. I’ve been struggling, not knowing how to fight these thoughts, and now I know how. 🙂

    Something on the importance of capturing your thoughts that a friend of mine posted…
    “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, It becomes your destiny! :)”

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by Kida on February 28, 2012 at 15:16

    That’s awesome!! I’m lovin’ it!

  13. clairebear

    Posted by clairebear on February 28, 2012 at 15:15

    so thinking that a boy is cute is unholy? that doesn’t seem right….

    • Posted by JennArman on March 1, 2012 at 16:06

      I didn’t mean that thinking that boys are cute is unholy, but sometimes thoughts that start innocently can lead to lustful thoughts. I should have been more clear. Good catch!

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by missmichaelab on February 28, 2012 at 15:07

    Wonderful article!

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by JennaBel on February 28, 2012 at 14:59

    THANK YOU!!! This is AWESOME, something I really needed!! 😀