Controlling Our Minds

by Jo Umberger

The more we grow in faith in Jesus, the more we learn about self-control (see 2 Peter 1:5-8). Each time we are tempted but choose not to sin, we are exercising self-control. When we have the opportunity to do good and do it, we are demonstrating self-control. If we stop ourselves before responding to someone with an ugly, ungracious, or sinful response, that’s an example of self-control.

After more than five decades of being a Christian, I have found one area of self-control to be the most challenging — controlling my thoughts. Perhaps you have experienced this struggle as well.

How can we GLORIFY GOD with our thoughts?

What problems are caused when we DON’T control our thoughts?

How will our lives be BETTER when we control our thoughts?

The answers are in the Bible. What does the BIBLE SAY regarding controlling our thoughts?

Here are seven strategies for controlling our thoughts taken from Scripture. Click each of the Bible verse links below and complete the sentences. (These verses are taken from the New International Version.)

1. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Take ___________ every thought to make it ___________________________________________________. ” We must first BECOME AWARE of what we are thinking.

2. Hebrews 3:1b ” . . . ________ your ___________________ on Jesus.” This requires us to be INTENTIONAL about what we think.

3. Colossians 3:1-4 “. . . _______ your _________________ on things above . . . set your ______________ on _________________________________, not on ________________________________.” When we do these things, will our thoughts run out of control or remain steadfast?

4. Philippians 4:4 “_________________ in the Lord always.” The word in the blank means to recognize favor from God and be glad about it. What if we were to train our minds to BE AWARE OF favor from God and then MEDITATE on how glad we are about that favor?

5. Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be _______________ about ________________, but in ________________________________________, by ___________________and petition, with _______________________, present your __________________________________________________. And the _______________________ of God, which ________________________________________________ will _________________________________________________________________________ in Christ Jesus.” This verse needs no further explanation. It tells us what NOT to do, what TO do, and what the RESULT will be!

6. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is _____________, whatever is ________________, whatever is ______________________, whatever is ___________________, whatever is ______________________ whatever is _____________________________—if anything is _____________________ or ______________________—_____________ about such things. Memorizing this verse is a great first step. Practicing it throughout the day will help us control our thinking.

7. Matthew 7:7-8 “_______ and it shall be _____________________________________, _______________ and you shall ________________, _______________ and the __________________ shall be _________________ to you.” Remembering this Scripture when we pray, and praying that God’s will be done, provides confidence that God can handle anything that our minds are concerned about.

After reading these Scriptures, ask God to help you obey each one. Consider putting these Scriptures on paper and placing it in a location where you can read it daily.

May God bless each of us as we seek to obey His will by being self-controlled in our thinking.

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