What We Should Do With Detrimental Thoughts – Encouragement for Today – February 19, 2024

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Kia StephensFebruary 19, 2024

What We Should Do With Detrimental Thoughts

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"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)

It was my son's 6th birthday, and I was planning an epic Chuck E. Cheese party.

I sent the invites, purchased the party hats and favors, ordered the cake, and did everything but what was most important.

The day arrived, and I eagerly made my way to the kiosk so the attendant could check my son's name off the birthday-party clipboard. It was then that I realized what I had forgotten to do: make the reservation. The epic birthday party felt like an epic mom fail.

Right then, not only did I entertain detrimental thoughts of embarrassment and failure, but I also believed them. This is the exact opposite of what the Apostle Paul instructs in 2 Corinthians 10:5: "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."

In Paul's letter to the church at Corinth, he used aggressive language to describe how believers in Christ are to deal with our thoughts. The words "demolish" and "captive" in 2 Corinthians 10:5 illustrate the seriousness of the battle raging in our minds. We cannot afford to ignore, pacify or play with our detrimental thoughts. We are encouraged to destroy them. Leave no trace of evidence that they existed.

For us today, the word "demolish" may bring to mind heavy machinery knocking down walls and removing thought debris in our minds. And when I think of something that is captive, I envision it being contained and controlled. This is what Paul tells the Corinthians to do with every single thought: Take it captive.

When the question, How could you be so stupid? entered my mind, I did not have to agree with it. Forgetting to make a reservation for my child's birthday party is not great, but it doesn't make me stupid; it makes me human.

In moments when we are bullied by our thoughts, we can ask ourselves:

  1. Is this thought supported in God's Word?

If the thought cannot be backed by Scripture, we can ask a second question:

  1. Is there a Scripture that refutes this thought?

This is a hard practice to adopt consistently, but I am determined to embrace Paul's admonishment. We do not have to be victims of our thoughts, powerless to control them. We can combat untrue thoughts with the Word of God, who has also gifted counselors, pastors and trusted friends to come alongside us if we need help along the way. We are equipped to demolish and take captive every lie that stands in opposition to the knowledge of God.

Had I asked myself the two questions above on that day at Chuck E. Cheese, I would have realized the condemnation I spoke to myself was not true. The other moms helped me fix my party blunder, and it ended up being an epic birthday after all.

Dear God, thank You that I do not have to be a victim to my thoughts and that I can take every thought captive. Thank You for helping me make my thoughts obedient to Christ. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


If you have been hurt, rejected or abandoned by your father, it may feel like every aspect of life is affected by that broken trust. In her book, Overcoming Father Wounds, Kia Stephens shares her own story of father wounds, along with eye-opening examples from women in Scripture who were transformed by the love of God. With great compassion, Kia offers practical tools to help you overcome insecurity, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and trouble connecting with God as your loving heavenly Father. Get your copy here!


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Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (ESV).

How might acting on Paul's encouragement to take your thoughts captive bring you peace and change your day, your week or even your life? Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Kia Stephens. All rights reserved.

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