A toxic thought life

Whenever I write about our inner ‘thought life’ I get more responses than usual. People say things like, ‘How did you know?’ and ‘This is what I needed to hear.’

It’s not because I’m a mind-reader. I’m not. It’s because most of us have an active ‘thought life’—these are the non-stop thoughts we have throughout the day that no one else can see. It can be like a little world unto itself.

Some are positive, some are negative.

That’s why we can really benefit from ideas that help us sort through them all in a healthy way.

Shaping your thought life in a positive and godly way makes a difference in how you live as a person. That’s why I’m so big on things like Bible reading, prayer and worship. Not only do they honour God, but they shape your thoughts.

At the same time, there can be incessant, negative thoughts that have the opposite effect. They can be lies about your identity, your potential, or your body image; they can be sinful ideas or smoldering anger or resentment.

And if you just give them prime, free real estate in your cranium, they get bigger and threaten to seep out into your life. Toxic thoughts feed on themselves and, if left unchallenged, ooze their way into your words and actions.

A toxic thought life can become a toxic real life.

In the Bible, Paul gave this counsel to Timothy: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love  and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). If we apply this to ourselves, “self-discipline” extends to how we treat our thoughts as well.

That’s why we shouldn’t tolerate toxic, ungodly thoughts. We banish them from our minds immediately. If not, they will get the message that you are a welcoming host, and they’ll eventually ooze their way into your words and actions.

So be alert, and grow a mental garden of grace and truth one thought at a time.

A toxic thought life can become a toxic real life. 

By Matthew Ruttan

  • “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday – Friday) and returns on December 17th.
  • Bible quotes are from the New International Version.

2 thoughts on “A toxic thought life

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