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The Mastery of Our Thoughts

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Luke 24:38 And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

Over the years, the number of folk that I have counseled dealing with depression have been the greatest of all thought related troubles. Here is a wonderful study provided be e-Sword and author George H. Morrison. (Used by permission, e-Sword)

Practicing the Control of Thought
We are all familiar with the difference that is made by the thoughts which arise within our hearts. Often they cast a shadow on our universe. A man may waken in the morning singing, and address himself cheerfully to duty, and then, suddenly, some unbidden thought may creep or flash into his mind—and in a moment the heavens become cloudy and the music of the morning vanishes, and there is fret and bitterness within. Things have not altered in the least. Everything is as it was an hour ago. The burden of the day has not grown heavier, nor has anybody ceased to love us. Yet all the world seems different, and the brightness has vanished from the sky under the tyranny of intruding thoughts. No one can achieve serenity who does not practice the control of thought. You cannot build a lovely house out of dirty or discolored bricks. The power of our thoughts is so tremendous over health and happiness and character that to master them is moral victory.
A Moral Task
This mastery of our thoughts is difficult, but then everything beautiful is difficult. The kind of person I have no patience with is the person who wants everything made easy. When an artist paints a lovely picture he does that by a process of selection. Certain features of the landscape he rejects; other aspects he welcomes and embraces. And if to do that even the man of genius has to scorn delights and live laborious days, how can we hope without the sternest discipline to paint beautiful pictures in the mind? So is it with the musician when he plays for us some lovely piece of music. Years of training are behind that melody which seems to come rippling from his fingers. And if he has to practice through hard hours to produce such melody without, how can we hope, without an equal effort, to create a like melody within? There are two moral tasks which seem to me supremely difficult and yet supremely necessary. One is the redemption of our time; the other is the mastery of our thoughts. Probably most of us, right on to the end, are haunted by a sense of failure in these matters. But the great thing is to keep on struggling.
We see, too, how difficult this task is when we compare it with mastery of speech. If it be hard to set a watch upon our lips, it is harder to set a watch upon our thoughts. All speech has social reactions, and social prudence is a great deterrent. If you speak your mind, you may lose your position, possibly you may lose your friend. But thought is hidden—it is shrouded—it moves in dark and impenetrable places; it has no apparent social reactions. A man may be thinking bitter thoughts of you, yet meet you with a smile upon his face. A typist may inwardly despise her master, yet outwardly be a model of obedience. It is this secrecy, this surrounding darkness, which has led men to say that thought is free, and which makes the mastery of thought so difficult.
Think on These Things
Now, the fine thing in the New Testament is this, that while it never calls that easy which is difficult, it yet proclaims that the mastery of thought is within the power of everybody. Think, for instance, of the beatitude: blessed are the pure in heart. Whenever our Lord says that anything is blessed He wants us to understand that it is possible. Yet no man can have purity of heart, as distinguished from purity of conduct, who is not able to grapple with his thoughts. Again by our thoughts we shall be judged—that is always implied in the New Testament. Christ came, and is going to come again, "that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." But I refuse to believe that men are to be judged by anything that lies beyond their power—to credit that would make the Judge immoral. Then does not the great apostle say "If there be any virtue .... think on these things"? It would be mockery to command us so to think if the controlling of our thoughts was quite beyond us. It may be difficult, as fine things always are, but the clear voice of the Word of God proclaims that it is within the capacity of everybody.
If, then, someone were to ask me how is a man to practice this great discipline, remembering the experience of the saints, I think I should answer in some such way as this: You must summon up the resources of your will. You must resist beginnings. You must remember that the most hideous of sins is to debauch the mind. You must fill your being so full of higher interests that when the devil comes and clamors for admission he will find there is not a chair for him to sit on. Above all, you must endeavor daily to walk in a closer fellowship with Christ. It is always easier to have lovely thoughts when walking with the Altogether Lovely One. For then He breathes on us, "soft as the breath of evening," and says "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," and in the Holy Spirit there is power. He who searcheth all things can direct and dominate the hidden things. He can empower us to bring every thought into captivity to Christ—
For every virtue we possess,
And every victory won,
And every thought of holiness
Are His alone.

This Scripture is one that I use very often when my mind is not where it should be...Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
 
Loyal
Great topic.

2 Cor 10:5; We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
2 Cor 10:6; and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

You must remember that the most hideous of sins is to debauch the mind. You must fill your being so full of higher interests that when the devil comes and clamors for admission he will find there is not a chair for him to sit on.
This is the very essence of our daily walk. For example, when we put on the armor of God, ( Eph 6:11-17; )
so that we can be "able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (some Bibles say fiery darts, or flaming missiles)
what are these things being shot at us? Real physical arrows? No, real spiritual arrows. Sinful thoughts, temptations,
and doubts.
 
Member
Luke 24:38 And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

Over the years, the number of folk that I have counseled dealing with depression have been the greatest of all thought related troubles. Here is a wonderful study provided be e-Sword and author George H. Morrison. (Used by permission, e-Sword)

Practicing the Control of Thought
We are all familiar with the difference that is made by the thoughts which arise within our hearts. Often they cast a shadow on our universe. A man may waken in the morning singing, and address himself cheerfully to duty, and then, suddenly, some unbidden thought may creep or flash into his mind—and in a moment the heavens become cloudy and the music of the morning vanishes, and there is fret and bitterness within. Things have not altered in the least. Everything is as it was an hour ago. The burden of the day has not grown heavier, nor has anybody ceased to love us. Yet all the world seems different, and the brightness has vanished from the sky under the tyranny of intruding thoughts. No one can achieve serenity who does not practice the control of thought. You cannot build a lovely house out of dirty or discolored bricks. The power of our thoughts is so tremendous over health and happiness and character that to master them is moral victory.
A Moral Task
This mastery of our thoughts is difficult, but then everything beautiful is difficult. The kind of person I have no patience with is the person who wants everything made easy. When an artist paints a lovely picture he does that by a process of selection. Certain features of the landscape he rejects; other aspects he welcomes and embraces. And if to do that even the man of genius has to scorn delights and live laborious days, how can we hope without the sternest discipline to paint beautiful pictures in the mind? So is it with the musician when he plays for us some lovely piece of music. Years of training are behind that melody which seems to come rippling from his fingers. And if he has to practice through hard hours to produce such melody without, how can we hope, without an equal effort, to create a like melody within? There are two moral tasks which seem to me supremely difficult and yet supremely necessary. One is the redemption of our time; the other is the mastery of our thoughts. Probably most of us, right on to the end, are haunted by a sense of failure in these matters. But the great thing is to keep on struggling.
We see, too, how difficult this task is when we compare it with mastery of speech. If it be hard to set a watch upon our lips, it is harder to set a watch upon our thoughts. All speech has social reactions, and social prudence is a great deterrent. If you speak your mind, you may lose your position, possibly you may lose your friend. But thought is hidden—it is shrouded—it moves in dark and impenetrable places; it has no apparent social reactions. A man may be thinking bitter thoughts of you, yet meet you with a smile upon his face. A typist may inwardly despise her master, yet outwardly be a model of obedience. It is this secrecy, this surrounding darkness, which has led men to say that thought is free, and which makes the mastery of thought so difficult.
Think on These Things
Now, the fine thing in the New Testament is this, that while it never calls that easy which is difficult, it yet proclaims that the mastery of thought is within the power of everybody. Think, for instance, of the beatitude: blessed are the pure in heart. Whenever our Lord says that anything is blessed He wants us to understand that it is possible. Yet no man can have purity of heart, as distinguished from purity of conduct, who is not able to grapple with his thoughts. Again by our thoughts we shall be judged—that is always implied in the New Testament. Christ came, and is going to come again, "that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." But I refuse to believe that men are to be judged by anything that lies beyond their power—to credit that would make the Judge immoral. Then does not the great apostle say "If there be any virtue .... think on these things"? It would be mockery to command us so to think if the controlling of our thoughts was quite beyond us. It may be difficult, as fine things always are, but the clear voice of the Word of God proclaims that it is within the capacity of everybody.
If, then, someone were to ask me how is a man to practice this great discipline, remembering the experience of the saints, I think I should answer in some such way as this: You must summon up the resources of your will. You must resist beginnings. You must remember that the most hideous of sins is to debauch the mind. You must fill your being so full of higher interests that when the devil comes and clamors for admission he will find there is not a chair for him to sit on. Above all, you must endeavor daily to walk in a closer fellowship with Christ. It is always easier to have lovely thoughts when walking with the Altogether Lovely One. For then He breathes on us, "soft as the breath of evening," and says "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," and in the Holy Spirit there is power. He who searcheth all things can direct and dominate the hidden things. He can empower us to bring every thought into captivity to Christ—
For every virtue we possess,
And every victory won,
And every thought of holiness
Are His alone.

This Scripture is one that I use very often when my mind is not where it should be...Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
This is a very well thought out article. Dr Caroline Leaf teaches volumes on this topic.
 
Member
Luke 24:38 And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

Over the years, the number of folk that I have counseled dealing with depression have been the greatest of all thought related troubles. Here is a wonderful study provided be e-Sword and author George H. Morrison. (Used by permission, e-Sword)

Practicing the Control of Thought
We are all familiar with the difference that is made by the thoughts which arise within our hearts. Often they cast a shadow on our universe. A man may waken in the morning singing, and address himself cheerfully to duty, and then, suddenly, some unbidden thought may creep or flash into his mind—and in a moment the heavens become cloudy and the music of the morning vanishes, and there is fret and bitterness within. Things have not altered in the least. Everything is as it was an hour ago. The burden of the day has not grown heavier, nor has anybody ceased to love us. Yet all the world seems different, and the brightness has vanished from the sky under the tyranny of intruding thoughts. No one can achieve serenity who does not practice the control of thought. You cannot build a lovely house out of dirty or discolored bricks. The power of our thoughts is so tremendous over health and happiness and character that to master them is moral victory.
A Moral Task
This mastery of our thoughts is difficult, but then everything beautiful is difficult. The kind of person I have no patience with is the person who wants everything made easy. When an artist paints a lovely picture he does that by a process of selection. Certain features of the landscape he rejects; other aspects he welcomes and embraces. And if to do that even the man of genius has to scorn delights and live laborious days, how can we hope without the sternest discipline to paint beautiful pictures in the mind? So is it with the musician when he plays for us some lovely piece of music. Years of training are behind that melody which seems to come rippling from his fingers. And if he has to practice through hard hours to produce such melody without, how can we hope, without an equal effort, to create a like melody within? There are two moral tasks which seem to me supremely difficult and yet supremely necessary. One is the redemption of our time; the other is the mastery of our thoughts. Probably most of us, right on to the end, are haunted by a sense of failure in these matters. But the great thing is to keep on struggling.
We see, too, how difficult this task is when we compare it with mastery of speech. If it be hard to set a watch upon our lips, it is harder to set a watch upon our thoughts. All speech has social reactions, and social prudence is a great deterrent. If you speak your mind, you may lose your position, possibly you may lose your friend. But thought is hidden—it is shrouded—it moves in dark and impenetrable places; it has no apparent social reactions. A man may be thinking bitter thoughts of you, yet meet you with a smile upon his face. A typist may inwardly despise her master, yet outwardly be a model of obedience. It is this secrecy, this surrounding darkness, which has led men to say that thought is free, and which makes the mastery of thought so difficult.
Think on These Things
Now, the fine thing in the New Testament is this, that while it never calls that easy which is difficult, it yet proclaims that the mastery of thought is within the power of everybody. Think, for instance, of the beatitude: blessed are the pure in heart. Whenever our Lord says that anything is blessed He wants us to understand that it is possible. Yet no man can have purity of heart, as distinguished from purity of conduct, who is not able to grapple with his thoughts. Again by our thoughts we shall be judged—that is always implied in the New Testament. Christ came, and is going to come again, "that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." But I refuse to believe that men are to be judged by anything that lies beyond their power—to credit that would make the Judge immoral. Then does not the great apostle say "If there be any virtue .... think on these things"? It would be mockery to command us so to think if the controlling of our thoughts was quite beyond us. It may be difficult, as fine things always are, but the clear voice of the Word of God proclaims that it is within the capacity of everybody.
If, then, someone were to ask me how is a man to practice this great discipline, remembering the experience of the saints, I think I should answer in some such way as this: You must summon up the resources of your will. You must resist beginnings. You must remember that the most hideous of sins is to debauch the mind. You must fill your being so full of higher interests that when the devil comes and clamors for admission he will find there is not a chair for him to sit on. Above all, you must endeavor daily to walk in a closer fellowship with Christ. It is always easier to have lovely thoughts when walking with the Altogether Lovely One. For then He breathes on us, "soft as the breath of evening," and says "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," and in the Holy Spirit there is power. He who searcheth all things can direct and dominate the hidden things. He can empower us to bring every thought into captivity to Christ—
For every virtue we possess,
And every victory won,
And every thought of holiness
Are His alone.

This Scripture is one that I use very often when my mind is not where it should be...Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
"Mourn & weep now" I believe the bible says that. There's a time and place for everything chopper, a time for happiness and a time for sadness.
 
Loyal
Take no thought saying........If you speak your thoughts they will become.....
Replace the thought with something else...scripture for example...you cannot think two things at the same time...
If you do not speak an unscriptural thought but replace it....it will die stillborn.
 
Active
"Mourn & weep now" I believe the bible says that. There's a time and place for everything chopper, a time for happiness and a time for sadness.
Welcome to our Forum my Brother and new friend. Your spiritual journey is one of you sharing as well as us. I hope you will find a place of rest as well as a place to gain more insight into our Savior Jesus the Son of God.

Your comment is true, happiness & sadness. In all things, we should seek a balance.
 
Member
Welcome to our Forum my Brother and new friend. Your spiritual journey is one of you sharing as well as us. I hope you will find a place of rest as well as a place to gain more insight into our Savior Jesus the Son of God.

Your comment is true, happiness & sadness. In all things, we should seek a balance.
Yeah, but that came out all wrong.
 
Loyal
Jesus only spoke what he heard his Father say (John 12:50). It is interesting that we can either speak what God is saying to us, or what the devil is saying to us. Our words set on fire the course of our lives whether it be good or bad. The tongue is set on fire of hell, and no man can tame it, but, when the Holy Spirit is in control he controls our words which control our thoughts..

We can not stop the devil from speaking lies to us in our thought life, but we stop listening to what he is saying. :)
 
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