I am a guy who battles depression and recognizes what enters my mind and the subsequent self-talk within my mind is fundamental to my quality of life. In my life experience, the untruthful, hurtful, dark things that enter my mind can be identified as an anxiety generated by cares of this world, a fiery dart generated by the devil, or a lust generated by the flesh.
James, the brother of Jesus, uses lust to explain what happens when one of these enter our minds. James 1:14&15 describes, “Each person is tempted (1st thought) when he is lured (2nd thought) and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” If it is a lust, our flesh is mesmerized by the feelings produced. If a fiery dart, we are deceived and overwhelmed. If an anxiety, we are fooled to believe that we alone are equipped to deal with it, and consequently our unconscious mind takes us to a dark place. In each of these situations, our self-talk acts independently of God which is described by James “as death”.
When a sinful thought enters your mind (1st thought), your “2nd thought” determines the quality of your life. Do not allow your unconscious mind to dictate your self-talk. Immediately, trust God. Your “2nd thought” must engage your conscious mind and guide us to His Word. Psalms 119:11 states this clearly, “Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Literally the word “power” in scripture is the Greek word “dunamis” which is the same word that we derive the word, dynamite. His Word is explosive in our mind and has the power to blow up our unhealthy, dark thoughts.
Philippians 4:6 is a forceful, pivotal verse regarding our “2nd thought”. It states for us to “Do not be anxious or worried about anything (engage your 1st thought), but in everything (2nd thought) by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” Your 2nd thought must continue to take each and every ungodly thought to God. Don’t allow unwholesome thoughts enter your mind then simply allow your unconscious mind to takeover. Engage your conscious mind. 2 Corinthians 10:5&6 commands us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Philippians 4:8&9 presents us with eight filters and tells us to “think on these things…and God of peace will be with you”: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…think on these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Once an sinful thought enters your mind, your 2nd thought determines your quality of life. Throw the lure and deception of the 1st thought off and engage the truths in God’s Word.