How do you get peace when your mind feels like a pinball machine? Pinball may be fun to play in an arcade, but it’s no fun when it feels like each thought is like an out of control ball bouncing around in your head.
There is a big misconception about what it means to be peaceful, and that is that in order to have peace in your life, you need to be passive. But peace rarely comes without resolve. So in order to gain peace, you can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend whatever is challenging your peace doesn’t exist.
Let’s talk about three steps that will help you take control of the balls bouncing around in your mind and give you the peace you so long for.
Step 1: Learn to identify your reactions. Your reactions speak volumes about what’s going on in your inner world. The bible says it so well in Luke 6:45: “Out of the mouth, the abundance of the heart speaks.” There’s no such thing as saying things by mistake. I never accidentally say, “I hate red roses and don’t ever want to see one again” Why? Because that’s not what’s in my heart. You only react with what’s in your heart. That’s why if you want to see what someone truly feels, you put them under pressure. That’s when the truth comes out.
This step is not to make you feel bad, but to raise an awareness that if you truly want peace in your life, the first step is to identify what’s truly bothering you. (Not some phony version you conjured up.)
Step 2: Interrogate your thoughts. If your desire is to live in peace without feeling like a doormat, you must challenge the thoughts going on in your head. Avoidance is not an option.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient unto Christ.
What does it mean to take something captive? We can compare our thoughts to prisoners that are captured at wartime. What do we do with those prisoners? We interrogate them. We get as much intel as possible with questions such as, “Where did you come from?” and, “What are you doing here?” The same tactic needs to happen with our thoughts. Find out where these thoughts coming from and what their mission is and you will be on your way feeling peace.
Step 3. Change the thought. You have the power to think whatever you want to think. But you can’t successfully change your thoughts until you recognize the thoughts that are robbing your peace in the first place. To start, examine your thoughts for truth. More often our thoughts lie to us (and so does Satan). Take the time the write down the thought that was robbing your peace and hold it up to the light of God’s word.
Here’s what it could look like. You may have an outsized reaction when someone corrects you. By interrogating the thoughts you have in that moment, you may recognize that you struggle with feeling inferior to others. Instead of pretending you don’t feel that way, admit it.
Then, check that thought against God’s Word. Does God say you’re inferior? No, he says you’re the head and not the tail, you are above and not beneath (Deut 28:13). So now, it’s your choice whether you are going to continue to believe the lie you told yourself (or someone else told you) or believe God’s truth.
If you want peace in your life without feeling like you have to roll over and show your belly, you will only find it by washing out the old lies with truth.
Renewing your mind takes work but it is worth it. Begin today with one thought and thoroughly work the steps to renewing your mind. And soon you will see that instead of feeling stuck, you will begin to see breakthrough; instead of repeating the same old things in your mind, you will have a peace that you cannot explain.
If you are ready to overcome toxic thinking once and for all, I want to invite you to join us for Overcoming Toxic Thoughts, the online course. This 4 step method will teach you how to overcome any thought process that is robbing you of peace and happiness. Click here for more information and to get started.