Now there’s a term I haven’t heard in awhile (maybe it’s considered hate speech now?) but I confess – I identify as falling into that category of people often. Truthfully, most of us find ourselves scatterbrained at one time or another in our daily lives. So many thoughts in my head, all swirling around, vying for attention and top billing in my mind. I find it hard to focus on any one thought, with so many competing thoughts crowding together in my brain.
Where do I land? On which thoughts do I settle my mind? (I think we call that settling of the mind, focus, which is what we scatterbrained people lack) My brain needs a full time bouncer to throw some of these thoughts out! Particularly the thoughts that are causing me trouble, making me anxious or fearful or depressed or angry or confused. In fact, a good bouncer would never have let those thoughts into my brain in the first place!
I guess it is time to hire a new bouncer for my brain. Better known as a filter, a good one could do wonders for my disposition, I’m sure. Why are my thoughts important? Scatterbrained or not, why do my thoughts even matter? Well Proverbs 23:7 tells me exactly why my thoughts matter.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
My thoughts are going to determine who I am? I guess I should really pay more attention to what my thoughts are and to which thoughts I give precedence. I need to be wise in choosing which thoughts I allow to have my attention and my focus. Philippians 4:8-9 gives me some advice in this area, saying –
“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. . . . And the God of peace will be with you.”
Taking control of my thoughts will bring order and peace to my mind, replacing the chaos and fear that untamed thoughts running wild will produce in me. That must be why I am told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to –
“take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Taking my thoughts captive so to speak, ordering them, testing them, determining which ones get banished and which ones get to stay – determines the course and quality of my life. Romans 12:2 gives me clear instruction saying –
“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.”
I can be transformed by thoughts which renew my mind! Those are the thoughts I want in my brain – thoughts that have the power to renew my mind! Those thoughts are God’s thoughts and I can find them in God’s Word. No big secret. God’s life giving, life transforming words and thoughts are there for me to read any time I want, just by opening up my Bible. David sought after God’s thoughts, too. He said in Psalm 139:17-18,
“How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”
I am so glad I don’t have that many thoughts to keep track of, running around in my head, spinning out of control, refusing to let me take them captive. But then I am not the infinite Creator of the universe, just a finite, mortal being – yet still I have more thoughts than I can deal with on a daily basis. (the average person has more than thirty thousand thoughts per day – no wonder I can’t take all of them captive. My brain bouncer needs to keep more of them out)
Thoughts matter, they have value. Hence the expression, “a penny for your thoughts” which is what you say when you want to know what someone is thinking. Today the going rate per thought is substantially more than a penny, I’m sure. Nevertheless, not all thoughts are of equal value. I need to learn to recognize the harmful from the helpful, the toxic from the transforming, the deadly from the lifegiving, the lies from the truth – in all my thoughts.
There is Someone who helps me to do this. John 15:26 & 16:13 explain,
“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me. . . . when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
So I will do as instructed in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds (my mind) on things above, not on earthly things.”
There’s that directing of my mind, that taking control of where my thoughts are focused. And when I make that choice to focus on God, He has promised me that He will – well you can read it for yourself, dear readers, and God will do the same for you and your thoughts – He is faithful to His promises –
“You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is (thoughts are) stayed upon You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3)
My Heavenly Father will take all my wild scatterbrained thoughts under His control, sort them out, expel the dangerous, deadly ones, leaving the lifegiving, renewing ones to do their redemptive work as His living and active words always do.
“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)
sincerely, Grace Day