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).