Have you ever been guilty of "speaking before you think"? You know, those are the words that we wish we could pull out of the air and shove back into our mouths. When we say things that we quickly regret we are often left just waitung for the fallout. Paul takes a wiser approach as he calls the Corinthian Christians to take growing in their faith seriously.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "...and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." In this he is calling these young Christians to grow in their faith and to consider impure thoughts an enemy. Further, in verse 6, he says they ought to punish every disobedience so that obedience (to Christ) will rule supreme.
That leads to a question -- what is the best way to punish a disobedient thought? I would say that it is to ignore it.
How do we learn to discern between obedient and disobedient thoughts? By taking them captive.
We are left, then, to find ways to take our thoughts captive. Let me offer some questions that I use as an example:
Will this honor God?
Will this encourage others?
Will this tear others down?
Am I doing this so I will look better?
Am I doing this so I will receive praise?
Am I really trying to serve other people?
If I follow this pattern of thought, will I be a good witness?
If I follow this pattern of thought, what will I say to God when I stand in front of him?
If I follow this pattern of thought, how will it affect others? (family, friends, church, workplace, etc.)
Will this fuel my pride?
Will this cause me to sin?
Those are just a few examples of how I try to hold each thought captive. As I typed that list, I can say that I certainly thought of times I have failed miserably. There are times that I knew the right answer but went ahead and did the wrong thing anyway. Thank God for forgiveness and the opportunity to make wrongs right.
Will you work today to take every thought captive?