Focus: Getting control of your thoughts
2 Corinthians 10:5 Cast down your imagination, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (paraphrased)
Getting control of your thoughts is extremely important, as you are recovering from depression and dependency. When everyone around you is focused on one thing, you are often somewhere else entirely.
The condition of depression is tied directly to your thought process. If I could talk to you personally and ask you to tell me the main reason why you re discouraged, depressed, or dependent, your answer would most likely have something to do with a relationship that was, or is disappointing you. That disappointment may have occurred because of words that were spoken or actions that were hurtful.
In some cases, the reality of painful words or actions alone could be enough to throw you into a place of desperation—but besides reality—the other thing you have to battle with—is fantasy.
The word ‘fantasy’ normally is associated with fun daydreams. But, when you are depressed—fantasy might be connected to a not fun nightmare of thought patterns you aren’t enjoying—but you can’t seem to wake up from.
When your mind is in a vulnerable state, your imagination can run wild. A word, a glance, or a tone of voice can set you wondering, “What did that mean?” When you allow yourself to listen to that question, you will begin to invent answers such as, “Well, maybe it meant ‘this’…or maybe it meant ‘that’.” And then, “Well, if that’s what it meant, then ‘such and such’ must be true.”
Before you know it, you have come to a concrete conclusion about a thought that was born from a seed planted in your mind that was completely imaginary.
Thought patterns like this can be extremely dangerous and can keep you trapped in a state of limbo in your recovery. You can’t make progress when this kind of stuff is going on—you are stuck. The reason you are stuck is that your mind is going backwards to things in the past…so you can’t go forward. You can’t go backward and forward at the same time. You have to choose one or the other.
Before you can get ahead in this battle, you have to start recognizing when your thoughts are going to that negative familiar fantasy and tell your mind to stop. Call it back to reality and tell it to look forward—not backward.
God loves you and wants you to be healed and whole. When you choose to allow those destructive thoughts of the past to fill your mind—by your own choice, you are letting that fantasy in your mind become more powerful than God and His ability to fix your problem. You say, “How could that be possible?”
Well, when you continue to re-live negative memories in your mind, you are giving new life to them and allowing them to become more magnified than reality…actually bigger than they were to begin with.
God doesn’t want us to be a captive to our thoughts—He wants us to hold our thoughts captive.
He wants us to cast down everything that suggests a negative outcome for us. He has promised a good future filled with hope to those who love Him. When we choose to dwell on negative images of the past—instead of the healed, whole, blessed future He has to offer—we are willfully choosing not to let God help us. It’s not that God isn’t willing and able to set us free—it’s just that we’ve made the wrong choice.
Declaration: I will find new strength by training my mind to stay out of the negative places in the past. I refuse to keep allowing my imagination to take me places God doesn’t want me to go. I will release God to bless me with a good future by making the choice to trust Him and keep going forward.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2013, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW5unzXXC0