“Spiritual warfare takes place first in the mind; it is won or lost in the battle over temptation to sin, which always begins with a lie.” – Sonja Corbitt.
This week in our Lenten Study, we explore the territory of our minds. Obedient to the instruction of St. Paul, we get intentional to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). By engaging in the practice outlined herein, you will:
- become more aware of the thoughts you think that are aligned with Christ and those that are not
- learn to take a thought captive and decide – that is, make a conscious choice – about allowing that thought to influence you in this present moment
- practice detaching from a thought altogether, or as St. Ignatius says, “let it float by on a cloud”
- surrender our thoughts and our minds to the Lord
– Monday –
Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think on these things. – Philippians 4:8
Listen to Laura & De reflect on today’s topic:
– Tuesday –
Taking captive our thoughts that are not of the Lord is a big step in claiming our Freedom in Christ!
Click on the journal pages below to print and reflect on this week’s study.
– Wednesday & Thursday –
Supplies: one of each template below (printed); markers or colored pencils
- Begin with the picture of the women holding 4 balloons. Take a few moments to prayerfully discern what thoughts God is asking you to become aware of, take captive, and release. Refer back to the reflection pages above, that you may have worked on yesterday.
- Write one negative cognition on each balloon. Color or decorate any way you choose.
- On the second page, rewrite the thoughts you want to surrender to God and make obedient to Christ on the floating balloons. Taking our thoughts captive and replacing the harmful ones with God’s truth is not an easy task. Perhaps you are not quite ready to surrender all four of the thoughts you identified on the first page. Write a thought you need more prayer and time to work on releasing in the small balloon. (Both De and I were relieved when I went back and redrew this page with a balloon still in my hand!)
- Color or decorate the page as you choose.
A note from Laura: For me, this expressive or reflective art is really all about the process. When I was working on the first page, I found it easy to identify the repetitive thoughts that cause me emotional pain, a signal that they are not aligned with how God thinks of me. I got stuck when I was thinking about how to color the balloons after I had written my negative cognitions. I could not make these balloons pretty! I ended up using colors and symbols that represent how these thoughts make me feel… they hurt! As I worked on the second page, I realized that as I have worked on taking these thoughts captive, asking Jesus to help me surrender them and replace them with thoughts that are obedient to Him, they hurt less… the words became smaller and the balloons became lighter! The images I ended up creating mirror the healing taking place within me. I’ve shared my completed drawings in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Spend a few minutes re-reading Philippians 4:8 (text is above on this page). St. Paul gives us a very complete list of the kinds of thoughts that should fill our minds. Psychologists say that our brains need to hear SEVEN positive thoughts to heal the damage of one negative cognition! As you interact with friends, family members, and coworkers this week encourage them by speaking words that draw their attention to all that is honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy. Be the voice that speaks positive healing thoughts, not only to yourself, but to all those God places in your life.
In the comments below and/or on our Facebook page:
- Share with us one thought you took captive.
- Tell us about the small victory you are claiming this week.
- Take a picture of your balloons image and share with us.
- Other sharing or comments are welcome too!
Oh Lord, thank You for new understanding of what it means to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to You. Thank you for revealing to me the thoughts I think that are not aligned with Your Truths about me. Please continue to do this work with me. Thank You for the grace to see myself more clearly, as You see me, and not through the lens of my own self-perception. Thank You for increasing within me the discernment to recognize the thoughts that You wish for me to release and the courage to do so. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.