He walked away in frustration, choosing silence rather than speaking from anger. I knew I hurt him with my words, but they just came pouring out of my mouth. I was hurting, and I wanted to be sure he knew that.
Unfortunately, lashing out at him did not help me feel better. As I watched his shoulders slump, I longed to take back my words. How could I have been so mean?
The root of the problem was not the words that I said. It started before that with some wayward thoughts. I allowed them to run rampant, and they built up and overflowed in the form of some very hurtful words.
II Corinthians 10:5 reminds us that we have control over our thoughts. We have the power to stop those thoughts that should not take root in our hearts.
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.
3 Reasons It’s Important to Take Our Thoughts Captive
1. Our thoughts take root in our heart.
Just as we gain nourishment from the food we eat, our heart grows stronger in faith when we feed it the truth. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When we fill our hearts with thoughts that are untrue, our faith grows weaker and our fear grows stronger.
The words I spoke to my husband started as thoughts based in fear. I did not stop to consider whether the thoughts were even true; I simply accepted them. If someone told me the sky was green, I wouldn’t accept that; I know better. I know the truth!
Why was it so easy to accept the devil’s lie then? Perhaps because he twisted the truth just enough to make it seem believable.
When we accept those seeds of doubt and fear, we are, in essence, planting them in our hearts where they will take root and grow.
2. Our thoughts can impact our spouse.
This is pretty obvious, right? Just as our kind words and actions can have a positive impact, so our negative words and actions have a negative impact.
When I speak to my husband using his love language, Words of Affirmation, you can immediately see the difference. He looks proud, confident, worthy. He feels the value from the words I speak; he understands the love I convey using his love language.
Believe me when I tell you how badly I felt that day as I watched my husband walking away looking dejected. I caused that hurt by accepting thoughts that were not true, and then speaking on them.
It’s true that we cannot take back the words we speak. That is why it’s vital to pay attention to our thoughts, to what we are feeding our heart.
3. Our thoughts can take us away from the Lord.
Let’s think about this for a minute. What happens when we feel doubt or fear? I wish I could tell you that my first response is to immediately turn to the Lord, but it’s not. I’m a work in progress in this area.
Usually, when I am struggling with doubt or fear, it’s a slippery slope. I begin to worry and focus on how I can fix things. Often I feel overwhelmed with the weight of the fear and doubt, which magnifies my desire to fix things.
What’s missing? God. I often need to be reminded to stop, pray, and seek God’s wisdom. Ironically, the person who usually reminds me is my husband.
When I turn over my thoughts and feelings to the Lord, the doubt and fear diminish. The Lord gives me His peace for my fear.
Friends, we cannot control much in life. We can’t control the choices that others make any more than we can control the weather.
What we can control, though, are our actions and reactions. In order for those to be Christ-like, we need to feed our faith, not our fears.
Take those thoughts captive. Don’t let them take root in your heart and grow unattended.
Make sure your thoughts line up with the truth of God’s Word.