God has seriously been cracking down on my self-control this year. For years things have run unbridled in my life, but this year, God is bring me into a deeper intimacy with Him, and with that He is helping me learn how to steer my ship. It seems He has been specifically targeting my thoughts.
“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“. – 2Corinthians 10:5
What do you do with passed pains and hurts? Where are you storing those bitter memories? Are you recalling to mind that person’s weaknesses? hurtful words? that heated argument? the upturned nose? the eye roll? the careless words? selfish actions?
When we think on these things, we are allowing the devil to have a foothold in our lives. We are giving the devil ammunition to wound our hearts.
“‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold”. -Ephesians 4 26-27
Pain is real and it tries to embed itself deep in our hearts, wedging the bitter memories into every open wound, and we are left with a broken heart that is ready to lash out whenever that person is around.
But instead of focusing on someone’s failures and the negative situations you’ve walked through with that person, God asks us to “believe all things”.
“Love believes all things, hopes all things”. – 1 Corinthians 13:7
If we love God, we have to choose to love. We have to choose to see the best in someone. We have to choose to meditate on their positive attributes, rather than the negative. This will create within your heart, not only healing, but also a sense of gratefulness towards that person. Love chooses to believe the best in someone. We have to be intentional about our thoughts. When a negative thought floats into our mind, we have to stop and submit that thought to God. We have to choose to think in a manner that is pleasing to God. When we let our minds reflect on the negative attributes, we are hurting God. God intensely loves that person, and we are tearing them to shreds in our thoughts.
It’s time to start thinking differently. When a painful memory or tense situation that causes anger to begin flickering a flame in your heart, rebuke those thoughts. Ask the Lord to help you forgive that person. Ask the Lord to help you believe the best in that person. Because if we let the pain and anger go unchecked, that flicker will turn into a raging fire and it will melt our hearts. Cover those painful memories in love. Make the hard choice to forgive.
It is a hard choice to forgive. To let go of all those painful moments. But when you do, you will begin to feel the weight of anger, pain, bitterness, rage, frustration, disappointment and hurt fade from your heart. You will begin to walk in freedom and love. You will begin to feel your heart beating, normally, healthy.
God wants to set us free.