“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
I spent yesterday afternoon trimming my trees and cutting back the most dreadful weed of all: kudzu. And while I did it, I found myself so frustrated that I’d let this invasive species take over my trees because not only does it look bad and is nearly impossible to get rid of, but I knew it was hurting the trees underneath. As I worked and pulled, cut and tossed, I found myself reminded of how the same thing can happen in my heart if I’m not careful.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Our minds are like my yard. We have thousands of thoughts running through our minds a day like thousands of tiny seeds flowing through the air, ready to land in the grass and grow. Some of these thoughts are great, while others are not. Many will take root and start growing, but if we’re not paying attention, some of the negative thoughts will continue to grow and spread like a mean weed, and before we know it, they’ve taken over.
Have you experienced this? One minute you love your friend, and a few weeks later you realize that every kind thought you’ve had about her has turned to jealousy and competition. Or you love school or your job, but suddenly you find yourself overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, and the thing that used to bring you joy now only brings you dread. Or even still, you feel confident and happy in who you are and one mean or flippant comment from someone else sends you spiraling, beating yourself up for less than you think you should be. Weeds overgrowing, choking out the life that once was there.
This is not God’s heart for us. He did not create us to live in fear, jealousy, self-hatred, or anxiety. He came so that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).
When we realize our minds have been taken over by weeds, it’s time to pull them up one by one and replace them with truth. I love that this verse in 2 Corinthians goes beyond just taking thoughts captive. We can all day tell ourselves “stop thinking that” or try to push our troubled thoughts away, but until we replace the lies with Truth from God’s Word, we will be cutting back weeds that refuse to die. As we meditate on God’s Word and obey what He says, we put Him in the place of the gardner, where He will tear out the weeds, refresh the soil, and cause a beautiful garden to grow and flourish.
Wherever you find yourself with thoughts that are not from the heart of God, take some time today to seek God’s Word. Find scriptures to focus your mind on and trade your anxiety for God’s peace, your jealousy for contentment, your fear for God’s comfort and presence, your self-doubt for your true identity as a child of God.