Scriptures on "Healthy Thinking"
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (I Corinthians 14:20)
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man. (Proverbs 27:19)
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)
Watch your life and doctrine closely. (1 Timothy 4:16)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. (Acts 24:16)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. (Psalm 51:6)
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day be day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me. (Psalm 51:10)
Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. (Psalm 26:2-3)
Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you. (Jeremiah 12:3)
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. (Proverbs 11:27)
The cheerful heart has a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15)
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. (Psalm 116:7)
**Copyright, 2002, Brian Campbell (Permission is granted to copy for personal use only.)
“Take captive every thought to make it
obedient to Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 10:5)
Thinking: mental processing; evaluating and reasoning
Our thinking is greatly influenced by our underlying beliefs. We have a choice. We can either believe the lies taught by the world (and the devil), or believe the truths taught in the Bible, and as manifested in the perfect life of Jesus Christ.
As Christians, God expects us to bring our thinking into line with the truth (See Lesson 29). He pays close attention to our thinking. We cannot hide our thoughts from God.
Importantly, God has provided us with free will, and the tools and means by which we can begin to change our thought life: by diligently studying the truth as revealed in the Holy Bible; by focusing our thoughts on the life and teachings of Jesus; and by praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of truth). In the end, our thinking is transformed in remarkable and wonderful ways, as we become more and more Christ-like.
God is deeply concerned about our thinking. We cannot hide our thoughts from God.2 He is aware of everything we are thinking and knows what we are going to say before we speak.3
I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind.
Yet you know me, O Lord; you see me and test
my thoughts about you.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
(Psalm 139:4) 3
God detests the thoughts of the wicked, but is pleased with thoughts of the pure in heart.4 Each and every thought we have, whether good or bad, is judged by the standard of God’s Word, as contained in the Holy Bible.5
As Christians, we are born with a sinful nature, but God has given us the free will to focus our minds on evil, or focus our thoughts on God and truth.
The sinful mind is hostile to God, and does not submit to His law.7 Those who live according to their sinful nature have their minds focused on what their sinful nature desires. On the other hand, those who live according to the Spirit have their minds focused on what the Spirit desires.8
The mind of the sinful man leads to death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit leads to life and peace.9 If we are Spirit filled and focus on God’s Word, we will truly have the mind of Christ.10 space
The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but those of the pure are pleasing to him. (Proverbs 15:26)4
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any
double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul
and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts
and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)5
Surely I was sinful from at birth, sinful from the time
my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5)6
The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s
law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature
cannot please God. (Romans 8:7-8)7
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds
set on what that nature desires; but those who live in
accordance with the Spirit have their minds set
on what the Spirit desires.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)9
But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:16)10
First of all, we are to monitor our thoughts and reject and demolish any thoughts that run contrary to God’s truth; we are to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.11 We are to work to get control over our thinkingnd stop thinking in immature, childish ways.12,13
We are to stop dwelling on the past and on things we can’t change.14 We are to focus our thoughts on positive aspects of our lives rather than on the negative—that is, we are to think about whatever is: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.15
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself
up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child. When I became a man,
I put childish ways behind me.
(1 Corinthians 13:11)12
Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil, be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
(1 Corinthians 14:20)13
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining
toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the
prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, 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.
We are to stop thinking as the world thinks, and no longer conform to the pattern of thought that is prevalent in our society.16
We are to strive to keep our conscience clear before God.17 We are to focus our minds on the truths revealed by the Holy Spirit,18 and fix our thoughts on Jesus,19 the author and perfecter of our faith.20
When we get our thinking straight and aligned with the spiritual truths, healthy emotions naturally follow. For example, the fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.21
In contrast, if we believe in the lies and the irrational beliefs taught by the world (and by the devil), we will experience negative emotions such as anger (Lesson 4), anxiety (Lesson 5), and depression (Lesson 12). The Bible abounds with information on how to avoid experiencing these emotions by focusing on the truth, as revealed in the Scriptures.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be
able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good,
pleasing and perfect will.
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear
before God and man.
But when he, the Spirit of truth , comes,
he will guide you into all truth .
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfector of our faith.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Finally, our underlying beliefs (and the thinking that flows from our beliefs), can have a profound influence on our behavior—that is, the actions we take as Christians. God does not want us to simply hear the word and believe; He wants us to put our beliefs into practice.22
The Scriptures tell us that faith without action is dead.23 It is not enough to talk about our faith to others;24 God requires us to live out our faith in our own behavior and in our actions toward our fellow man.25-27
One of the greatest testimonies of our faith in action is our love for others. As we come to accept and obey the truth of the Bible and start to live out the truth in our thinking and in our behavior, we will naturally start to love one another deeply, from the heart.28
My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word
and put it into practice.
As the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without deeds is dead.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue
but with actions and in truth.
(1 John 3:18)24
A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
Now that you know these things,
you will be blessed if you do them.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth
so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one
another deeply, from the heart.
(1 Peter 1:22)28