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"I Keep Thinking On The Wrong Things!"

Below is an email correspondence between a reader and myself.

From: E. [name & email omitted by request]
To: "brian@valueoftruth.org" [brian@valueoftruth.org]
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 4:34 PM
Subject: Thank God for your site!

Brian, I have recently visited your site after doing a search for "Christian bad thoughts." I have suffered for years with this problem. What you describe on your site is exactly what I have been going through (especially recently). It would take hours, perhaps even days for me to type everything from the last 20 years or so of my life in this area. Oddly, I never had this problem until I became a Christian. As far as I know, I don't exhibit signs of OCD intrusive thoughts in other area, just in my relationship with God. I have to get some work done now, but I would REALLY love to discuss this further with you. Again thank you for your bravery on your site.
In Jesus' grasp,
E. [name omitted by request]

Sent from my iPhone


On Aug 27, 2012, at 4:26 AM, brian p [brian@valueoftruth.org] wrote:

Brother E.,
Thank you for writing to me. I am so glad to hear that my website has been a blessing to you. Yes, we can definitely discuss this further. I look forward to hearing back from you.

God bless.


From: E. [email omitted]
To: brian p [brian@valueoftruth.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: Thank God for your site!


Thank you for getting back with me. There's a lot to tell, but I guess recently I have struggled quite a bit with this. The scary thing for me is that I don't know what is from my heart and what is put into my head. I feel like my mind is constantly LOOKING for what NOT to think. I'll have thoughts against God, His Spirit, my salvation,etc. Often I'll literally say something like " Lord this is not from you. I reject this in Jesus' name." On one hand, if I pray every time I have a thought like that, then it only focuses more attention to it; on the other hand, I'm scared not to pray about it. I've often noticed that if I turn my attention away I'll even forget what the thought was. What really bothers me the most is that I feel like there are times that I resist enough and times I'll let a thought "sink in." This is where "intrusive" may change into willing. It's sort of like watching a child playing "make believe", but with their thoughts. I go from days of joy, counting on those "whosoever" promises, to days of despair. There's a lot more, but I have to get some work done.


Sent from my iPhone


From: brian p [brian@valueoftruth.org]
To: Eric [email omitted]
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: Thank God for your site!

Hi E.,
It is not uncommon for us to constantly think on the wrong things. Often, we are filled with the fear that maybe we'll sin against God with our thoughts. And sometimes we do. The Bible says, "The thought of foolishness is sin." - Prov. 24:9. But that doesn't necessarily mean that our thoughts are blasphemous on purpose. Sometimes they are completely intrusive and unwanted. God knows this and that's why his word says, "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity." - Psalms 94:11.

But remember what Paul said in his epistle to the Philippians:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Philippians 4:8.

Thinking on the right things is more or less a choice than a forcible act from the devil. Granted, the devil can sometimes put thoughts into our minds or hearts. We see this was the case with Ananias:

"But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" - Acts 5:3

We also see this was the case with Judas.

"And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him." - John 13:2

Of course, the thought that lingers in my mind is whether these men were ever saved. I doubt it. I am sure that neither Ananias nor Judas ever truly knew the Lord, because had they known him, they would not have partook in these "sins unto death."

But could it be that an idle mind is the devil's workshop?

Perhaps. It definitely should not be ruled out.

But whether it is him or our own mind, we should remember to stay sober and keep up the good fight to think on things that are lovely.

And what is lovely?

You know the Bible is lovely. Why don't we think on it? Jesus is lovely. Why don't we think on him? God's promises are lovely. Why don't we think on them? Heaven is lovely. Why don't we think on it?

You see, I think the best tactic for battling these unwanted thoughts is to think on the Bible, because the scripture says, "Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." - Isaiah 26:3.

Perfect peace comes from keeping one's mind on God. We can do this by reading the Psalms, which helps us to keep our minds on God and his word. When the storm is raging, we can have peace in the midst of the storm when we remember that God is with us in the ship.

I hope that this email encourages you to stay on the right path, and I pray that you get the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


If You Died Today, Would You Go To Heaven?