I had the fortune of growing up with some space. We had neighbors but the lots were large enough that you had room to move & do things. My favorite was Kick the Can. We’d play at night and if you were seen by the jailer, you’d go to jail which was the front porch of my neighbor’s house where we all gathered to play. The hope was that someone not captured could make their way to the jail and kick the can, releasing those captured but do so without being seen by the jailer and getting captured themselves.
Lots of fun and lots of running into trees in the dark!
When you were captured though, there was little you could do. You were powerless until released.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us to capture our thoughts. Render them powerless & redirect them toward obedience to Jesus. He writes, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”.
Thoughts occur SO quickly. How can you possibly capture them in time??
I had a friend who seemed to have a handle on this and shared his experience. He told me that every time he had a negative thought, or a tempting thought, he audibly said to himself, “That thought is not my thought. I am a child of God”. At first, he had to say this to himself close to 100 times a day. But the next day? He . . . had to say it about 100 times. And the following day? 100.
But eventually . . . 100 turned to 95.
And 95 turned to 85.
And 85 to 80.
80 to 75.
And so on.
At some point, he found that the thought “That thought is not my thought. I am a child of God” didn’t have to be said audibly but he could just say it in his head.
And then after enough practice, that thought entered before the negative thought even came to completion.
Listen, this is not easy and will take trial & error.
Lots of practice.
And success will be measured in months & years, not weeks & days. But it is possible!
Go back to your behavior curve. Think to the times when you messed up. What thought started it all? What lustful idea popped in your head to get you started?
Next time you get one of those, capture it.
And don’t kick the can to release it!
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- What are the most common thoughts you struggle with?
- What would it look like to try the tactic mentioned above?