Taking your Thoughts Captive
When a thought comes into our minds we think that we have to host it, but we don't. It's very interesting that when we feel bad our brains can give us a "chemical" boost that makes us feel good, which intern that can make us addicted to feeling bad.
This could correlate with a lot of different scenarios, like for example "lust" or "porn", but lets look at this in the perspective of relationships.
This can correlate with someone who is hurt that hurts others (because hurt people hurt people) which could make them feel right or even better for the moment. This gives them a boost that makes them feel better, yet deep down they don't actually want to hurt anyone. They actually just want to feel good or loved. So why do hurt people hurt people? They've become comfortable with this cycle of repeat thinking. They think that they're the one that is the victim. What they don't realize is that these negative thoughts that they've become comfortable with, when the thoughts are poured out, they have bad actions or bad verbal actions towards the people around them resulting the relationship to be in shambles. When they actually need to just renew their minds (and be filled with the Holy Spirit) and not be the host of the negative thoughts.
When a thought enters into our minds, we think we have to think it, and so we host it allowing it to dwell within us. But we don't!
For better understanding, here's an example.
Say you get the thought that your friend intentionally did something hurtful to you. Your action for how you response to the situation here is very important. You can allow the thought to linger around for awhile and get comfortable or you can bring it to God.
You don't have to be the host for negative thoughts.
So what do you do?
Do you let your bad thought take hold of you, causing you to lash out at your friend because you thought that your friend did you wrong. Which could leave the relationship in shambles.
Or do you take those thoughts captive and maybe respond to your friend with love by talking with them on what felt like bad intentions. You might be surprised and find out that they never had bad intentions to begin with.
We could start thinking further on it and come up with reasons of why we think they intentionally did what they did, where we begin to stew over these negative thoughts and start reasoning with these thoughts. But the problem is if we allow these bad thoughts to hold a place within our minds and we close the door on it, we are actually the ones who are locking ourselves in prison. When a door closes you are either closed or you're free. So we must fill our minds with Jesus by reading our Bible, meditating on God's word, and spending time in prayer to not allow bad or negative thoughts to stay.
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
-Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
The Bible says to let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Your attitude is your response to situations. Your response to a situation will point you in the right or wrong direction. So, we must fill ourselves with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, so that we may respond with love and not be the host of bad thoughts.
"Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes."
-Ephesians 4:23 (NLT)
"Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace."
-Ephesians 4:3 (NLT)
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,"
-2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV)
I cast out every evil and negative thought out of my mind right now in the name of Jesus. God, fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I may see and know the truth, Amen.