Daily Devotion August 30, 2023

“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).

     My wife and I recently adopted a pair of Lhasa Apso puppies. They are siblings. We named them Miriam and Moses. All of our pets have biblical names. Such is the consequence of living in a pastor’s home.

     They are cute as can be except when they are not. They fight like a brother and sister. The physical conflict frequently disturbs the peace in our home.

     I was forced to break up an entanglement earlier this morning. As I physically held them apart from one another, I started singing the Soft Kitty song:

                          Soft kitty, warm kitty,
                          Little ball of fur.
                          Happy kitty, sleepy kitty,
                          Purr, purr, purr.

The song seemed appropriate for two animals that are fighting like cats and dogs. Within seconds, the duo ceased snarling at one another. I had successfully rerouted their thinking.

     Like my two puppies, I believe all of us get stuck in our own negative thoughts from time to time. I have noticed that when I focus too much on the bad things that are happening around me, I can sink into a funk. Or when I am exposed to someone else’s anger for too long, I quickly can become trapped by fear.

     The Good News is that we can break free from the snare of such stinking thinking. Paul claimed that we can “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV).

     When we find ourselves stuck in a pattern of negativity, Paul’s counsel urges each of us to submit our thoughts and feelings to the authority of Jesus. When we find ourselves replaying worries in our mind, Jesus grants us the freedom to cast our concerns onto him by recalling his promise to provide for our every need. When we become ensnared by the guilt trips that others inflict upon us, Jesus can ease our conscience from any
unwarranted remorse. And when we get caught up in endless arguments with someone who refuses to reconcile, Jesus can lead us to set aside our defensive reactions and establish within us a peace that passes all understanding.

     Our negative thoughts need not control us. They can be liberated and rerouted. Jesus has the power to reorder our minds.

In her award-winning song, You Say, Christian musical artist, Lauren Daigle writes:

          I keep fighting voices in my mind that say
          I’m not enough
          Every single lie that tells me I never measure up…
          Taking all I have, and now I’m laying it at Your feet
          You have every failure, God,
          You have every victory.
          You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing

          You say I am strong when I think I am weak
          You say I am held when I am falling short
          When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours.
          And I believe
          Oh, I believe
          What You say of me
          I believe.