How many times have you heard someone stop mid-sentence and suddenly announce that they’ve “lost their train of thought?” It’s interesting how people can be so focused on what they want to say and then somehow (immediately) forget what their message was! Naturally, this can be a frustrating experience, but there are times in our lives when we can actually use this to our advantage. Life would be so much easier if we learned how to intentionally expel certain thoughts the moment they entered our minds.
You see, the enemy is very crafty in this area. He knows that everything people say and do begins with a thought, so he would like nothing better than to put thoughts in your head that will bring you down, make you think the worst about people and circumstances, stir up sinful desires, or trigger negative emotions. And, just like a train, if you entertain them, these dangerous thoughts will soon gain momentum and become increasingly difficult to stop.
Because of this, it would be of great benefit for us to become preventative rather than reactive. Philippians 4:8 says that “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.” For the apostle Paul to stress this so much tells me that it is not an easy task for people to do. We need to be reminded of it often and then learn to put it into practice! But if we make a habit of thinking about the positive in our lives, it will help prevent the negative thoughts from entering our mind. Be so “mindfull” of the good, that it leaves no room for the bad!
Of course, no one is able to do this 100% of the time. There will be times when an unhealthy thought will sneak its way in; for some of us, many times a day! When this happens, there are two simple actions you can take:
1. Jump off the train. Refuse to entertain unhealthy thoughts further by stopping them before they gain too much speed.
2. Jump on a new train. Replace the unhealthy thoughts with the truth from God’s word.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” With practice, you will become quicker and more effective in this area. Your mood will lighten up and it will be easier to live out your convictions. Just make sure you’re either on the right train…or getting on it!