5 “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 (NIV)
Imagine a family of five from rural Ohio. The parents saved for years and finally had enough money for a family vacation to Disney World! The family hopped into their minivan and made the drive down to Florida. When they arrived at their long-awaited destination, it was more glamorous than they imagined. The kids were ready to burst with excitement. As soon as Mom and Dad opened the doors, the kids darted out. One zeroed in on the Dippin’ Dots; another saw Mickey and raced to him; the other was so excited about everything around him that he just began to run around aimlessly. It was utter chaos!
Our thoughts, just like those kids, can easily race around in utter chaos. They can zero in on something specific or they can roam around aimlessly searching for something. But where are we allowing our thoughts to go? Are we allowing them to zero in on the lies Satan and this world are feeding us, causing a self-deprecating attitude? Are we allowing them to lust over a certain person we see, drawing us onto a slippery, sinful slope? Are we allowing them to wander every which way, considering all the things we don’t have, creating a deep jealousy in our hearts?
In this passage Paul is telling the Corinthian church to “take captive every thought.” Taking our thoughts captive means paying attention to what our thoughts are. In his book A Call to Die, David Nasser says this about every thought we have: “Yank it out … and analyze it to see if it is of God or not. Check it out with the truth of God’s Word.” Taking our thoughts captive is hard work and takes discipline. But it is so important.
I used to think it was weird when I’d see kids wearing backpacks with leashes attached to them, until I went with my one-year-old nephew to an aquarium with loads of people all around. Suddenly I noticed how easy it would be to lose my little nephew in the crowd without that leash.
Athlete, put a leash on your thoughts. Do not allow them to get swallowed up in streams of chaos.
Prayer to consider today: Lord, my thoughts can be like little children racing around everywhere in utter chaos. But that is not what You desire for me and my thoughts. You desire for me to think on things that are noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Give me the strength and the discipline to take my thoughts captive and let me honor You with my thoughts.
Reflect: Where do you allow your thoughts to wander?
Challenge: Analyze those thoughts. Do they line up with the truth of God?
Outreach Challenge: Sadly, Christians often have a reputation for being horrible tippers. Servers dread the Sunday after-church crowd. Next Sunday, without drawing loads of attention to yourself or boasting, go out to a restaurant and tip more than you normally would.