…take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Whenever I catch myself letting my thoughts travel without a conductor, I enjoy halting my train of thought and following the tracks back to the original station. It’s amazing to see the random station stops and where the root of our thoughts can lead.
However, we shouldn’t track down our train of thought only when we enjoy it. When our thought-trains steam with anger, roaring down the rails, we need to follow the tracks and find where this train came from.
I heard a lady describing this on the radio recently. She described when her family was late for church and her husband was driving under the speed limit. When they were late! She began cultivating infuriated thoughts toward her husband. But she stopped herself and asked why she was irritated.
Because he’s driving under the limit.
Why does that bother you?
Because we’re going to be late.
Why is that so bad?
Because I want to be on time.
So we can look professional and punctual to all the other church families.
Ohhh, so you just want to look good; this is a pride issue. And that’s why you’re cross.
She found the root problem and told herself, We’re going to be late, and that’s how it is, and that’s okay. Her feelings of anger dissolved; her runaway train of thought was back in control.
This time of year, taking control of runaway trains is especially relevant. When someone exclaims, “Only sixteen more days until Christmas!” our first response is, “Agh! Don’t say that!” It’s a seriously stressful season.
Because I need to find all the perfect presents for my family and friends and decorate my house to look like a Hallmark card and I haven’t baked cookies yet!
Why is all this such a big deal?
Because I need to do this to make Christmas all that it needs to be for my family.
So Christmas is focused on family now, and on not letting people down? Is that what Christmas needs to be?
Our intentions of desiring a giving spirit and wanting to make people happy may set in motion a deadly engine of anxiety and disappointment. We must hijack these perilous thought-trains, tracing back what’s really at the core.
And once we find the root issue, we have to redirect our thoughts on a godly track. Derailing the old self and fueling the new. Letting go of anxieties and trusting His perfect sovereignty. Taking all thoughts captive to obey Christ.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”