Have you ever taken a Bible verse out of context and later found out you had misused it? There’s one verse that I have misused regarding “bringing into captivity every thought.” Now that I am aware of its context, as explained in the study What Does It Mean to Take Thoughts Captive, I have found other verses to guide and correct my thinking.
What do you think believers should think on? What Scripture verse comes to your mind first?
As in other studies I have published, I like to use the King James Version, so if you have your own favourite version, please use it to read along with us.
1 ~ Thoughts To Be Accepted ~
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
This verse tells us everything we need to think about summed up in 24 words. If we think before we speak, and if we think based on what we have hidden in our heart, then both our speech and thoughts will be acceptable to God. Too often we speak first, think later and then it is too late. Words quickly spoken out of tune are words we cannot retract. Let us each endeavour to meditate on God’s Holy Word so that our thoughts line up with truth and grace and therefore our speech will edify and build up those around us.
2 ~ Think to Please the Father ~
Romans 8:5-6 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
As believers, we are to be spiritually minded, that is, we care for and think about the things of the Spirit. We no longer pursue the carnal nature and its desires but we pursue the things that please the Father. Proverbs 23:7 says Â For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Our mind is the place of wisdom. Our heart is equated with our mind, metaphorically. Pleasing God should be our daily goal.
3 ~ Think on Things Above ~
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
These two verses are similar as they tell us that our treasure should be in heaven. And if our treasure is in heaven, our heart will be in tune with things above. Our affection, the things we care for which includes our thoughts, should always be heavenly minded. Not to be no earthly good, as the cliche goes, but to have right thoughts, words and action.
Do we care for the things that move God’s heart? Are we compassionate toward society’s less fortunate? Do we pray with groaning too deep for words as we intercede for the persecuted church? Are we concerned with the our brothers and sisters?
4 ~ Think the Other Person is Better ~
Philippians 2:2-5 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Sisters, we are of one Body, one Christ, one Lord over all. Paul teaches us to be like-minded in love. Christians should not let pride and own passion come between us as we are all one in Christ. Therefore, our thoughts about each other should be that the other person is better than ourselves.
Let Matthew Henry’s Commentary explain it this way: We must esteem others in lowliness of mind better than ourselves, be severe upon our own faults and charitable in our judgments of others, be quick in observing our own defects and infirmities, but ready to overlook and make favourable allowances for the defects of others. We must esteem the good which is in others above that which is in ourselves; for we best know our own unworthiness and imperfections.
5 ~ Think on These Things ~
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I love this verse! I used to have a t-shirt with this verse on the back but I wore it so often that the text has faded a long time ago.
Like the first verse we looked at, Psalm 19:14, which reminds us our thoughts should be acceptable to God, this verse sums up what Christians ought to think about. These are specific “whatevers” though. Some people think on random things that lead to nothing but Paul tells us to be specific in our “whatever.” Whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy…think on these things.
So, dear sisters, how is your thought life? Are you on the right track? There are so many more verses that we could look at to guide us how we should think but these will get us going in the right direction. If you have any favourite verses, please leave a comment. I would love to add them to my list.
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Related Post: What Does It Mean to Take Thoughts Captive