The Bible speaks often about the power of the mind and our thoughts. It’s easy to glaze over this and overlook the connection between thoughts and transformation. Maybe it’s too “self-helpish,” and we’ve been turned off by cheap self-help books.
The unhealthy relationship between science and faith hasn’t served Christians well either. Science connected the mind with transformation years ago. But the bitter (and unnecessary) rivalry between faith and science wouldn’t give credibility to its findings.
More and more, science is confirming Scripture, not contradicting it.
Our minds are powerful, and our thoughts shape who we are and will become.
Here are 7 verses about the power of your thoughts and mind.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (Deuteronomy 30:19)
For years, this verse haunted me. I didn’t believe life — love, joy, peace, etc. — were choices. I always thought circumstances played a role. My kids were the cause of my frustration. My co-worker, my boss, my Simply choosing love and joy seemed too easy.
But what if it’s true?
Dr. Caroline Leaf says this in her book Switch On Your Brain,
“As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain. As we consciously direct our thinking, we can wire out toxic patterns of thinking and replace them with healthy thoughts.”
In essence, science is proving free will and the relationship between thoughts and reality.
Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Changing your thoughts changes how you respond to the world. Paul’s words aren’t new. “Change your mind” is the central theme of Jesus’ first sermon (Matt. 4:17).
Why would Jesus come out of the gate with such a command?
Jesus wasn’t after religious all-stars. He was after transformed people. And he knew it was very easy to confuse the latter with the former.
Religious all-stars are extra awesome at external spiritual stuff. They go to worship every week. They read the Bible every day. But they rarely change what’s going on in their heart. This explains how someone claiming to follow Jesus could also be a racist. Or how those claiming to be closest to God (the Pharisees) could crucify his son.
Change your thoughts. Transform your life.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1: 7).
Fear and mistrust of people aren’t from God. This type of fear is mostly hypothetical and always focused on worst-case scenarios. It discourages different and builds walls rather than bridges.
At this point, I should note that fear originates in the mind. Unlike, say, anger, which resides primarily in the gut, fear is an issue of the mind.
Fear is also the absence of love (1 John 4:18). You can’t have God and fear together. So, if you want to take control of your mind (and your fear), you don’t need more courage. You more of the Spirit’s presence, which is always the presence of love.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected — even children in the third and fourth generations. (Exodus 34:7)
Not only do your thoughts shape your life. They also influence the lives of your future kids and their kids.
Science has confirmed this truth. The science of epigenetics has shown that our dispositions, bad habits, anxieties and hatred of cats can impact our kids even before they are conceived.
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. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Take every thought captive. What a great idea. But is it even possible? Well, if we trusted God’s word, we would know it was possible.
The answer to capturing your thoughts is right there in Scripture, hidden in plain sight. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” The powerful effects of prayer and meditation have been well-documented in recent years, again confirming what Christians should already know.
Capturing your thoughts requires stillness, something most Americans, and many Christians, have no time for. And as long as we have no time for prayer, our thoughts, emotions, and feelings will continue calling the shots.
Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Have you ever met someone who’s different? Someone who sees the world differently? But more than that, lives differently. Even among Christians, these people are rare. They’re calm. Nothing seems to shake them. Ever. They’re almost impossible to offend. They listen much more than they talk. They love everyone, even their enemies. Their joy and peace are infectious.
When I encounter someone like this, I leave wondering what awesome sauce they take and where I can buy a jar.
People who are different understand Philippians 4:8. They choose to love. They choose to see the Imago Dei — God’s image — in everyone. They choose good, and ruthlessly eliminate negativity.
What you choose to see determines your reality. You have the power to change your reality by shifting your focus.
As someone thinks within himself, so he is. (Proverbs 23:7)
We are not victims of biology or circumstances. You are created in the image of God, full of love and fully loved by your Creator.
Any voice – whether it’s your own inner critic or one from outside – that speaks anything but love is a liar. These voices will come. But, once again, you choose whether they define you.
There are many others verses in the Bible highlighting the power of our thoughts. But I hope you see the truth behind God’s timeless words. What you allow into your mind determines your reality and ultimately your legacy. So, start capturing those thoughts.
I would love to hear from you. Do you know a verse that talks about the power of thoughts? Leave a comment below.
Grace and peace, friends.