“The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people’s defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 GW).
There are several strategies we can use to help bring “…every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (ASV). The first involves nothing more than stopping to reject an inappropriate thought in the name of Christ as soon as it occurs. Jesus authorized us to take this action when He said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).
Whenever an offensive thought occurs, simply reject it in the name of Christ. Remember the wise old adage that says, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head but you can stop it from making a nest in your hair.” The way to avoid the bird’s nest of an inappropriate thought life is to reject an inappropriate thought in the name of Christ as soon as it occurs.
It’s also good to displace such thoughts with those that honor God. Philippians 4:8 can help us do that by listing several qualities that mark a God-honoring thought life: “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.” Some more good advice is found in Psalm 119:11: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”
There are probably few Christians who have not struggled with an inappropriate thought life at one time or another. Perhaps this is why 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “…remember this– the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you” (TLB). This is not an excuse for doing wrong but serves to remind us that every true follower of Christ must deal with a sinful nature.
Finally, we should remember that God knows us for who we are and He is gracious towards those who sincerely desire to honor him. Anyone who truly loves God but struggles with an inappropriate thought life should take comfort in the words of 1 Corinthians 8:3: “…if someone loves God, then they are known by God” (CEB).