Capturing Thought Intruders

Ugh. There she is, I thought to myself as she walked into class on the first day of school.

She was the girl who started dating my ex-boyfriend one week after our relationship ended. I was still stung by the fact that she would ever do something like that. Still angry at the fact we were ever friends.

As the days progressed and I was forced to see her every day, my anger continued to fester. And as my anger worsened, so did my thoughts.

In my head, I would imagine different scenarios where I gave her and my ex-boyfriend a “piece of my mind,” and, I’m ashamed to admit, these scenarios were filled with profanity and bitterness. They completely contradicted God’s Word.

To be honest, I initially thought it was okay, because I wasn’t actually saying or doing the things I was fantasizing about. I believed it was fine to play out those scenarios in my head since they weren’t manifesting themselves in real life.

The Thoughts in Your Head Get Louder

Then one day my accounting teacher called me out for talking in class. I apologized; but in my head, I was reciting a profanity-laced diatribe about what I would say to her if I weren’t such a “nice Christian girl.”

And then . . . the voice of the Holy Spirit convicted me.

The thoughts and scenarios I had played out with my former friend were now spilling over into other relationships, and I realized I had a problem. Even though I could “keep my cool” on the outside, I wasn’t cool on the inside. I realized my mind had been taken over with foulness and negativity. (Sin!)

I sought forgiveness and had to set up a new pattern; it was difficult work that didn’t happen overnight. But God makes turning from our sin possible!

Capture Those Thoughts

Second Corinthians 10:5 says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

This means we must evaluate our thoughts and assess whether they honor or displease God.

I hadn’t read this verse or heard of “taking your thoughts captive” until years later when I was in college. I wish I had so that I could’ve addressed my issue before it started to take over my mind. I hope you can learn from my mistakes and take your thoughts captive before sin captures you!

A Pure, Lovely, Praiseworthy Thought Life

  • Have you ever played out scenarios of revenge on someone you can’t stand?
  • Do you cuss in your head but not out loud?
  • Do you justify the negative thoughts you dwell on since you’re not acting on them?

Let’s challenge ourselves with God’s Word today.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil. 4:8).

Are our thought lives healthy? Pure? God-honoring? Or are they disobedient, impure, and angry?

We can ask God to evaluate our thoughts according to Truth, and He can help us take the lies and sin captive so we can walk in freedom. Let’s pray His Word together.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Ps. 139:23–24).

If you’re dealing with sin in your thought life, know that God freely forgives. He’s ready to help you capture the sinful thoughts and put them to death.

About Author

Sarah Garrett

Sarah Garrett is a passionate educator and founder of the Transformed4More Ministries that she runs with her identical twin sister. It is her desire to reach struggling teenagers and tell them about the transformative power and love of God. Her book, "So, You Think You Are Ready to Date?" released in October 2017.

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  • Rachel W.

    That was a very convicting post. Thank you for your honesty and humility. I will try to keep what you said in mind!

    • Transformed4More

      Good. I hope it helps!

  • caregiver

    This is exactly what I needed today as I was struggling with some very specific thoughts. Thank you for sharing truth!

    • Transformed4More

      I’m glad you found it useful!

  • Karen Elaine Fulmer

    I love your blog, Transformed4More! And thank you for this post- I struggle with this soooo much!

    • Transformed4More

      I hope this post helped. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Ruthie

    Oh my goodness thank you Sarah! I really needed this right now!!! This is exactly what I have been struggling with a lot lately! I really struggle with pure thoughts. I love Jesus and try to honor Him with my thoughts, but my mind so easily slips to boys!:) Thank you so, so much! This post was perfect!

    • Transformed4More

      Thank you for your kind comment!

  • Kathleen

    This is something that I can relate too. I used to have a pretty bad mouth and while I’ve killed the habit externally, it still thrives internally. The hardest thing about having those hidden sins is not becoming apathetic about because people can’t see it. God most certainly can see it, and if thoughts like that weren’t harmful he wouldn’t have emphasized pure thoughts in His word.

    • Transformed4More

      Agreed. I still struggle with this at times, but it is so much better now.

  • Grace

    I have definitely believed the lie that my thought life “doesn’t count” as sinful. Although other people might not see everything, what is in our hearts and minds will eventually manifest itself in actions, and either way, God sees it all. Thank you for the honesty and truth in this post!! 🙂

    • Transformed4More

      Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

  • lex

    i love the honestly/transparency of this. It’s so true, and I struggle with this, so I really appreciate you being open about struggling with this too 🙂

    • Transformed4More

      It’s not something I like to admit, but I am glad it’s showing other’s they are not alone!

  • Rosa

    I saw this post just when I needed it the most! Thanks so much!!! Love this website!!!

  • Alisha Nelson

    Thank you so much for this post. I struggle with this. Growing up into my mid 20’s, I’ve always been so passive and let people get away with everything. This led to people constantly walking all over me. However, now, I’m the complete opposite. It’s so hard for me to hold my tongue. I know that I have to but being oppressed for so many years, it’s starting to backfire. As a Christian, I’m trying to guard my heart and be slow to speak as the Word says, but it’s so hard! Thank you for your transparency. This definitely encouraged me to keep striving for better even though I do not know how sometimes.

  • Loved this!
    Often before I go to bed, I think about what I would like to happen in my life, whether that be marrying a crush, or living out my dreams, when I should be praying instead, or thinking about God and His attributes!
    Now I can see, that what I think about, often is what means most to me. I need to take captive of these thoughts and put them under the authority of Christ!