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 New King James


Winning the Battle of the Mind

The human capacity for self-deception is almost without limit. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is, "He made me angry." This is usually offered as an excuse for bad behavior. The truth is, no one can "make" you angry, or "make" you feel anything. We are each responsible for our own emotions. The essence of self-discipline is not allowing emotions to effect behavior. This is the basic definition of a functioning adult.


Every word we say, and every action we take, begins first as a thought in the mind. How we think about a situation will effect our response. King Saul's reaction to David's success in battle is a good example. The women of Israel sang a song that said, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." (1 Samuel 18:7) Saul was immediately jealous and angry that David was given greater credit in battle than him. As King, he should have been glad to have such a brave soldier in his army. But, rather than admit to himself that the song was accurate, his thoughts dwelled upon his anger and jealousy. Soon after, he hurled a spear at David in an attempt to murder him. This happened twice, but David was able to elude Saul.


Because Saul lacked self-discipline, he failed to control his thoughts. His sinful thoughts then escalated into sinful actions. Whenever someone attempts to blame others for their behavior, it is an indication of a failure to discipline their own thoughts and emotions.


2 Corinthians 10:5 declares that we have a responsibility to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." We must learn to identify sinful thoughts and refuse to dwell on them. In Philippians 4:8 we are taught that we should focus our minds on things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. By submitting negative and sinful thoughts to the authority of Christ, and then consciously replacing them with positive and godly thoughts, we can learn to control our words and actions.


Most of the interpersonal conflict we experience stems from sinful words or actions resulting from lack of discipline over our thoughts. By learning to control our thoughts and emotions we can become more like Christ, and more successful in every area of our lives. Moreover, when we put these things into practice, Paul says, "the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9)                   Pastor Dan Rhodes

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Pastor Daniel Rhodes


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