Several years ago when I was going through biblical counselor training, God taught me what it really meant to “take my thoughts captive.” This was a lesson He spent years trying to teach me but because He is so amazing, in that He never gives up on us, it took me a long time and a lot of lessons to really learn how truly taking your thoughts captive can allow you to walk in freedom like you’ve never known.
I knew the verse: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. I had heard sermons preached on the subject, I had done bible studies with the topic included, I knew this truth! But as we know as Christians that it’s not enough to know the Word, we must also put it into action. That is much easier said then done.
When we are hurt or offended or betrayed, it’s so much easier to justify our feelings and thoughts than to take them captive for Christ, and this is where the devil has his field day! Once we allow those hurts to fester, “because I have a right to feel what I’m feeling,” than we start believing all the lies, distortions and misperceptions that start creeping in. Once we have done that we start looking for anything we can to affirm our thoughts, so we can be validated in our thinking. Which leads to more misperceptions, misunderstandings and flat out reading into things. Raise your hand if you can relate with this pattern of behavior?
We end up in a place of holding on to hurts, grievances and even misperceived offenses without even realizing we have. We carry this baggage around with us. Until something triggers those wounds and then our reactions are often over reactions or behavior dumped on someone who may not even have anything to do with the original offense. But we have a right to feel this way, right?
Not if you want to walk in freedom!
Remember the verse, we demolish every argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ!? That is a size-able action. More than knowing it we are called to doing it!!!
So how do we apply this when we are hurting or feeling offended. First we start by not allowing lies and distortions to seep in, we seek clarity if we need to and we follow all the precepts to achieve peacemaking. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” James 3:17
Read that again, wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, merciful, unwavering, producing good fruit and without hypocrisy!!! That’s a tall order! So check yourself in your speech, attitude, body language, intentions and goals or should I say, end game. Be a peacemaker not a strife stirrer!
We need to speak truth into our situation. We focus on the good things we know to be true about that person, relationship or that situation. Because when we are focused on the good, it grows and the bad becomes less “in-focus” and vice versa (so you don’t focus on the bad or it too will grow and grow and grow). Get it?
Then we are putting into action Gods Word: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Also, we ask the Lord to help us see them as he does. To love them like he would. So even if a person seems unloveable and we are having a hard time seeing anything good, we ask for eyes like Jesus and He will give you grace to see that person in a different light.
We can tell ourselves that our feelings and thoughts are justified, that we have a right to feel this way, that “they” don’t deserve our forgiveness or mercy or love. That we deserve an apology, or validation or understanding or whatever we may be searching for. Or we can take our thoughts captive and walk in Gods peace that surpasses ALL understanding!
That my friends is true freedom! And when you learn how to apply His Word in each and every situation, to fix your thoughts on Christ and His Word instead of your circumstances and feelings. You will bring peace and truth to all your relationships and the truth will set you free. And even if that person doesn’t change, you will, through your actions. And trust me, people will notice!
To God be all Glory! There is hope beyond this!