In a previous post, I discussed how to screen the thoughts that come knocking on the door of our minds by using the eight criteria from Philippians 4:8. This is the first step in changing the way we think. But merely eliminating the bad thoughts is not enough.
This is demonstrated by Jesus’ parable in Matthew 12, which tells about a man who was freed from an evil spirit:
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first…” (Matt 12: 43-45a, NKJV).
This man’s problem was not that he had been plagued by an evil spirit in the first place. It was that, once he was freed from this spirit, he left his “house,” or his mind, empty. As a result, the man essentially invited more torment into the realm of his mind merely because he did not replace the evil spirit with something good.
Similarly, once we reject harmful thoughts, our minds will begin to be decontaminated from the pollution that once plagued us. However, as in the parable, if we want the lies gone forever, our minds must be occupied with something more edifying. We cannot reject one tenant (the lies) and not fill the vacancy with another. Instead of lies, then we must welcome truth, for as the apostle Paul stated, truth is one of the spiritual weapons which has the power to help to “take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph 6:10, NIV).
That is one of the reasons why we need the Bible. It is the greatest source of Truth because it comes from the God who knows and loves us best. So in our efforts to gain a true view of ourselves, we must look to the Bible first for answers to questions such as these: “How does God see me? Why was I created? What is my purpose?”
In the next few posts of this column, we will look at several Biblical concepts which will reinforce what perhaps we already know about our identity and value. We will be reminded of Biblical truth, which will help us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph 6:10, NKJV) as we fight our spiritual battles every day.