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Do We Control Our Thoughts?

I did not get out of bed this morning planning to write a blog post about metacognition (thinking about thinking). I got out of bed with a migraine. The two may end up being related, but I doubt it.

I read an article that said that depressed people can't stop their brains from thinking. It said that depressed people live their lives at high speed and can't stop analyzing things. I don't think this is a hallmark of depression, but that lots of people have racing thoughts at sometime or another.

This made me think about thinking, though. Do we control our thoughts? Or, maybe, how much do we control our thoughts?

We all have thoughts most of the time. We all have self-talk. We comment to ourselves about what is happening and we comment on our own feelings and actions.

Talking back to myself has become one of the most important things I've learned in counseling. When an unbidden thought shows up that is negative or untrue, I've learned to take an active role in changing that sell-talk to something more useful.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "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." We must have some ability to control our thoughts if we are told to take every thought captive and then make it obedient to Christ.

In fact, we need to be thinking about Jesus in order to walk with Jesus. How can we have the fruit of the Spirit if we don't know anything about the Spirit, if our life doesn't have anything to do with the Spirit?

I don't want this to come across as saying that we need to be constantly on alert for every little bitty negative thought. God is a God of love and grace. I want to use the post as a reminder that my thoughts don't control me. I control them. When I start hearing things in my head that I know aren't true or that need to be changed, I can do that. And if I start having thoughts that are taking me away from Jesus, I can take those "captive to Christ".

What do you think?


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