Integration Course

Downloads:  Word

Thinking About Thinking

by Dr. Brian Campbell


Thinking: the action of using one's mind to produce thoughts



Scriptures on Thinking

Healthy Thinking

Unhealthy Thinking

Scriptures From, "Godly Counsel" and "Pearls"


Many Christians have a secret “thought life” that is not pleasing to God.  Their thoughts are preoccupied with false beliefs, lust, obsessions, and a host of other inappropriate ideas and images.  They live their lives as if God is unaware or unconcerned with what they are thinking, or that it is ok to think bad thoughts as long as you don’t act on them.  However, God’s word paints an entirely different picture.



Scriptures on Thinking 


Scriptures reveal that God is deeply concerned about our thinking.1  We cannot hide our thoughts from God.2  He is aware of everything we are thinking and knows what we are going to say before we speak.3


God detests the thoughts of the wicked, but is pleased with thoughts of the pure in heart.4   Each and every thought we have, whether good or bad, is judged by the standard of the God’s word, as contained in the Holy Bible.5             


As Christians, we are born with a sinful nature,6  but God has given us the free will to focus our minds on evil, or focus our thoughts on God and truth.  The sinful mind is hostile to God, and does not submit to His law.7   Those who live according to their sinful nature have their minds focused on what their sinful nature desires; on the other hand, those who live according to the Spirit have their minds focused on what the Spirit desires.8


The mind of the sinful man leads to death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit leads to life and peace.9 If we are Spirit filled and focus on God’s word, we will truly have the mind of Christ.10


God’s Guidance on Thinking


Fortunately, God provides a great deal of advice about how we, as Christians, can take control of our thinking and make it pleasing to him. 


First of all, we are to monitor our thoughts and  reject and “demolish” any thoughts that run contrary to God’s truth; we are to “take captive” every thought and make it obedient to Christ.11  We are to work to get control over our thinking and stop thinking in immature, childish ways.12,13


We are to stop dwelling on the past and on things we can’t change.14 We are to focus our thoughts on positive aspects of our lives rather than on the negative: that is, we are to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.15  We are to stop thinking as the world thinks, and no longer conform to the pattern of thought that is prevalent in our society.16 


We are to strive to keep our conscience clear before God.17  We are to focus our minds on the truth as revealed by the Holy Spirit,18 and fix our thoughts on Jesus,19  the author and perfecter of our faith 20.



Scriptures on Thinking


1.        “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind...”

(Jeremiah 17:10 NIV).


2.  Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you (Jeremiah 12:3 NIV).


3.   You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD (Psalm 139:4 NLT).


4. The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him (Proverbs 15:26 NIV).


5.  For the word of God is full of living power.  It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires.  It exposes us for what we really are (Hebrews 4:12 NLT).


6.  Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5 NET).


7.  Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.  Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God.  That person ignores who God is and what he is doing (Romans 8:7 MSG).


8.  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5 NKJV).


9.  If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death.  But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace (Romans 8:6 NLT).


10.  But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16 KJV).


11.  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 (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).


12.  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV).


13.  Brothers, stop thinking like children.  In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults (1 Corinthians 14:20 NIV).


14.   Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do , forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV).


15.  Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse (Philippians 4:8 MSG).


16.  Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You'll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12:2 MSG).


17.  Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience toward God and all people (Acts 24:16 NRSV).


18.  When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13 KJV).


19.  Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1 NIV).


20.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)