Every Thought Captive: Change Your Life by Transforming your Mind (Post #1)
With incredible speed and endurance, Sanya Richards-Ross has broken records and earned gold medals in the Olympics and as a World Champion in
track and field.
I recently read a quote she gave at a conference in Atlanta, GA. It’s a quote that snagged my attention. “Before the race, I imagine myself winning. During the race, I focus on executing what I imagined previously.”
Don’t think Richards-Ross didn’t have a long, tough road getting to where she is now–a champion. In fact, during 2010 she had a season-ending injury. From the beginning of her track and field career until now, she faced all kinds of hurdles (like my pun?): pulled muscles, sacrificing time, strict diet, hours in the gym, long days of hard training, and battling those mornings when she didn’t feel like getting up.
How Richards-Ross became a World Champion in track and field is the same way you and I can become champions at whatever God has called us to do. With all the hurdles we face, there are moments we have to persevere. But there is something we’ve got to seriously look at first.
It All Starts in the Mind
Feelings follow our thoughts. Always.
I’m convinced that a major part of Richards-Ross’ training took place within her mind. She developed a good habit of right thinking.
- She programmed her mind to imagine the details of winning.
- Then she internalized that experience.
- Then she acted it out.
The same principle applies to our lives spiritually. You may not have realized it, but you do this everyday. That’s right–we have unknowingly and subconsciously programmed our minds to think a certain way. If those thoughts are negative and worrisome, then the feelings that follow are low and depressing. Soon, the actions that accompany these feelings could include isolation, lack of sleep, lack of eating, outbursts of anger or resentment, or even suicide.
However, when someone’s actions are positive, it usually means their feelings are positive. And that comes from positive thinking. This person has taken his thoughts captive and changed them into thoughts that lead to success.
What Does the Bible Say?
In 2 Corinthians 10, the Apostle Paul writes about how he must tear down something before he can rebuild it. He had to tear down wrong thinking among the Corinthians. Their wrong thinking had led to various sins. Paul didn’t seek to change their behavior. He sought to change their minds.
Check out verses 4-6:
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (NKJV)
Here’s the main idea: Right Thinking Leads to Right Living.
Unfortunately, most of us focus too much on behavior issues. Parents try to change the behavior of their children without understand the thinking of their kids. Many business leaders focus too much on changing the outward progress of their employees without first changing their thinking patterns. Pastors, many times, preach on bad behavior and the need to change. But many fail to impact the very thing that produces those bad behaviors–wrong thinking.
Could we actually reprogram our minds to imagine right living?
Could we actually control how we feel by first controlling how we think?
Could our lives actually be transformed for good because of the thoughts we choose to think?
The answer is a resounding YES!
These next few posts will explore how this could happen in your life. I’m convinced Scripture is true–obeying God in His Word transforms our lives. And I believe it starts in our minds.
I believe that if you were to apply what you will read in these next few posts, you will begin to see a change in your life. You will go…
- from anxiety to peacefulness.
- from fear to confidence.
- from apathy to enthusiasm.
- from pessimism to optimism.
It’s not a formula. It’s just taking God’s Word at face value. It’s applying His truth to your life. As Sanya Richards-Ross did, we can train our minds to think certain thoughts that lead to certain feelings which, in turn, lead to certain actions.
I Welcome Your Comments!
Many of you may have experience with this. Perhaps you have questions, or maybe you disagree. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’m still learning! And I look forward to learning more.