Okay, not like a real-life, actual prison… but a prison nonetheless.
My mother introduced me to the quote “Our mind is a garden, our thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” I’ve been waging a (losing) war recently with my thoughts. I’ve been obsessing over things and people that I can’t control. I’ve been worrying, even though – I KNOW (eye-roll) – worrying won’t change anything. I’ve surrendered my thoughts to God over and over… which means I never ACTUALLY surrendered them, right? I self-diagnosed myself as imprisoned by my own thoughts. I knew in theory that I had to let go and let God… but I just couldn’t get to the place of actually doing this.
I began repeating this “our mind is a garden” quote like a mantra every time my mind wandered into the world of “what if” or down the road of “if only.” I finally decided that, if I’m going to cling so closely to a quote, that I should at least Google it. One night, laying in bed, pajamas on and messy bun on top of my head, I pick up my phone and search “our mind is a garden, our thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.”
At first, nothing particularly world-changing happened. Until I saw 2 Corinthians 10:5 in the search results. The full scripture verse is “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” (NIV).
How powerful is that – the thoughts that have been imprisoning me, and holding me captive, I myself can take captive of and make obedient to Christ?! This verse turned the tables for me – I should not be held captive by my thoughts, but they should be held captive by me. This is true, not just of my thoughts of worry, but of everyone’s thoughts that are not of God. I felt empowered, and you should, too.
Since then – and I’m not going to lie, it’s been a short amount of time since I’ve been on this journey – I have confronted every thought that is not from God that has made its way into my mind and said “No.” I stop the thought in its tracks, take a deep breath, and turn my mind to God’s goodness.
I’m not quite ready to admit that I’m the type of person that has one of these moments and then makes it the new lock screen on their cell phone… but yes, I made an image of 2 Corinthians 10:5 the new lock screen on my cell phone.
I feel freed from my thought-prison! This caused me to wonder – who else needs to escape from this prison? Who else needs to hear that they have the power, in Christ, to take their thoughts captive and force them to be obedient to God?
If I’m describing you, I hope you feel a bit freer after reading this.
“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” (NIV).