I remember not long ago eating everything in sight. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to satisfy. I ate something sweet then needed something salty then something sweet. It went on and on. Believing that strong people practice the discipline of confession, I recorded every bite on my tracker and emailed it to my accountability partner, Mary Ward. All I put in the Re: line was, “What was I thinking!”
Looking back, I’m not sure what I was thinking that day, but this is what I know today:
- Your thoughts are the boss of you.
- What controls your mind controls your behavior.
Some of you may remember way back to 1974. On the evening of February 4, 1974, a group of men and women knocked on the door of apartment #4 at 2603 Bienvenu Street in Berkeley, California. They burst through the door, guns drawn and kidnapped a 19-year-old college student. They bound her and threw her in the back of their car and took off. Her name was Patty Hearst. She was the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, newspaper tycoon. She was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and held captive for 19 months. Just a few months later of that same year, she was seen on a surveillance video robbing a bank at gunpoint. What was she thinking?
I’m sure the night she was kidnapped, bound in the trunk of that car, it never crossed her mind that she would in just a few months, be leading the life of a criminal. What happened? The change in her behavior with her abductors has thought to be called the Stockholm syndrome, where hostages become friends with their enemy.
What happens is our minds become controlled by what our brains are exposed to. She actually started cooperating with the enemy. She made friends with her captors. She started seeing things the way the enemy wanted her to see them.
What controls your mind controls your behavior. You may never be brained washed into robbing a bank, but the principle still applies. What was she thinking!
What was I thinking!
Good news! We who are in Christ have divine weapons to fight against this phenomenon. We have the mind of Christ! We have the Holy Spirit. We have prayer, and we have the Word of God. 2 Cor. 10: 4-5 says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” NIV.
We are in a battle. We have divine weapons, and we need to learn to use them. The enemy would like nothing better than for you to make “friends with him”; to persuade you to his way of thinking, which is toxic, untrue, and destructive.
Our weapons are powerful: The word of God has the power to transform our minds. (Rom. 12:2). What controls our minds controls our behavior. When we set our minds on the flesh, we will be controlled by the flesh. If we set our minds on the spirit, we will be controlled by the spirit and not participate in mindless behaviors.
Train your brain not to be engaged in mindless behavior – be alert and sober-minded.
- Mindless eating leads to gluttony
- Mindless social media scrolling leads to discontentment
- Mindless conversation leads to gossip
- And mindless living leads to captivity.
The opposite of MINDLESS living is MINDFUL living; God focused living. Psalm 26:3 says, “for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.” NIV. God is faithful to help you with your thinking. We can train our brains to live mindful of Him. Put your mind to it, and it will be accomplished!
Vicki Heath is the National Director of First Place for Health. Vicki is a certified fitness instructor for the American Council on Exercise, a certified life coach and Wellness Coordinator for her church in Edisto Beach, SC. Vicki is an author of the books Don’t Quit Get Fit, Wellness Journey of a Lifetime and My First Place. She strives to bring others into the Kingdom through health and wellness.