These three simple steps have been instrumental in my life as I’ve learned that they truly do work, and I know they can be instrumental in yours too.
1) Notice negative thoughts
Ask God to expose each negative thought you have. You take authority over your thoughts when you notice the ones you’ve allowed and begin to recognize the thinking patterns that have developed in your mind over time. Noticing and capturing the thoughts that have kept you bound is the first step in transformation.
2) Reject negative thoughts
After you notice a negative thought, you have the power to reject it. Refuse to entertain it in your mind or on your lips. Reject any thought that lies about who you are, who others are, or who God is. If what you are thinking doesn’t line up with Scripture, it is not true. Toss out any thoughts that makes you feel hopeless, worried, or afraid. When you’re tempted to complain, blame, or shame, use the power God has given you to refrain. When you reject negative thoughts, they lose their power over you.
3) Replace negative thoughts
Each time you exterminate a negative thought that’s been exposed, replace it with a thought that is more true.
For example: Notice the negative thought No one really loves me and replace it with There are people who love me, but most importantly, I am God’s beloved. Or notice the negative thought I always mess things up, and replace it with I’m human, and sometimes fail, but I’m not a failure and I can succeed. Or I’ll never be able to lose the weight/overcome the addiction/find someone to love me with All things are possible with Christ.
At first this may feel awkward or forced or even artificial. (Your brain might not be used to claiming and announcing what’s true!) As you continue to choose what’s most true, though, your brain begins to form new neural pathways that strengthen God’s renewal and transformation of your mind.
I also want to suggest a really helpful tool that will help you as you notice, reject, and replace your negative thoughts. Journal a record of the thoughts you exterminate each day, in an effort to begin recognizing patterns of habitual negative thinking. Beside each one, note the thought you’re choosing to replace the negative one with. Keeping track will also help you recognize when you are beginning to think differently, and breaking free from the stronghold will eliminate certain negative thoughts have had over your life.
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