Monday, January 29, 2018

Controlling Negative Thoughts

Subdue Self-Will

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9). Additionally, we are also commanded in (2 Corinthians 10:5) to "take every thought captive".

Brethren, we are not writing this message because we think it’s easy to control negative thoughts nor are we saying we have managed the technique of overcoming negative thoughts. Instead, we have learned to acknowledge the existence of evil thoughts and to align such thoughts in accordance with the expectation of our new life in Christ (Romans 12:2). Now whether we would acknowledge it or not, one thing is clear, we wilfully entertain all thoughts and decide either to reject it or to give expression to it. There are simply countless Christians who are battling to control negative thoughts they have about others and sadly many think this is not a sin. It is as much a bondage and punishable sin as any other sin we give expression to (Matthew 15:19; 5:28). Therefore, evil thoughts are not just influencing our attitudes towards others, it makes us walk contrary to our call in Christ.

Therefore, as humans we are and will always be subjected to decision making (Proverbs 5:22; Genesis 3:6; Matthew 21:22) which expresses our will and often there are benefits and consequences. As it is, since we naturally generate thoughts and sometimes allow some outside forces to dictate and influence our choices we will ultimately have to give an answer for our decisions and people either view us as wise, rude, easy, self-centred, complicated, moody, honest, kind, gentle, or loving to mention but a few and all these virtues and vices are based on the principle of choice.

Simply stated, a negative thought will precede our actions which give expression to our feelings. Does this not remind us of our recent moods article? Yes it does! Did it not start with what we were thinking and the objective thereof? Given to our experiences and teachings from the Lord Jesus Christ, negative thoughts has its roots either in lusts, self-gain, bad perceptions, bad experience, impatience, anger, grudges, hatred, unforgiveness, jealousies, suspicions, fear and even guilt to group but a few negative motives together (1 Corinthians 6:10; Romans 2:8).

Praying And Seeking God

Now brethren, the Lord is not pleased with a Christian who allows negative thoughts to influence his or her feelings. By giving us a teaching on negative thoughts, we recall the Lord frequently warning some of our children and ministry members not to swear or hate people in their minds for that the Lord said was wickedness. Additionally, often some Christian folk have a quarrel because of a strong presence of the suspicion spirit where someone is being falsely accused and I am sure quite a many of us fell foul to this. Furthermore, some divisions among believers are caused by negative thoughts that are driven by gossip and speculative suspicions. As a ministry, we often had to deal with such a spirit and the Lord in His Wisdom would always remind us to forgive and to bear with one another’s weaknesses (Colossians 3:13).

In conclusion, if we would at every thinking opportunity consider how the spirit which motivates us to accept negative thoughts influences our relationship with people around us and the Lord, we would be better prepared to resist the evil motives (as considered above) and accept the light of guidance from the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).

Now brethren, kindly answer these few questions honestly. Are you a fearful person? Do you often think bad things about others? Are past experiences bothering you? Do you have grudges and unforgiveness in your heart? If so, you need to repent, and pray a lot (Thessalonians 5:17) and ask the Lord to bless you with the Fruit of the Spirit (Luke 11:13; Galatians 5:22-23).

If you are not yet born again, please get started by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed grace,
Brother Glenn