On Thought Replacement

Philippians 4:8

Does your mind race with troubling, anxious thoughts? Do you struggle to move from panic to peace? Today’s verse is one that can help. The Apostle Paul taught that we are to fix our thoughts on the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. That’s quite a list, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but when my brain gets ahold of me, those are not the kinds of thoughts that dominate my energy. So what are we to do? You might just find the answer in a helpful tool called, thought replacement. These are the three basic steps to thought replacement…

  1. Identify the thought(s) that zap your energy.
  2. Evaluate what drives those thoughts deeper into your consciousness.
  3. Replace your anxious thoughts with positive ideas; i.e., look for silver linings.

One way I put this into use is I take my anxiety-ridden thoughts and reflect upon the characteristics of God that are the opposite. For example, when I worry about not having enough money (and who isn’t right now with inflation?), I focus on how God is the provider…the God of more than enough. When I see and feel the strife around me due to violence and hate, I focus on God as the Prince of Peace.

These are some strategies that will help you fix your mind on the things worthy of your mental and spiritual energy. I can assure you that Paul practiced what he put on papyrus, because he wrote the Letter to the Philippians while in prison. He was aware that the end of his life was drawing near; still, he was able to focus on the awesome, not the awful…the wonderful, not the worrisome…the sacred, not the scary. It will work for you, too. Give it a shot today, and let me know how it works.