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"I Believed These Thoughts Were Unique To Me!"
Email from a reader

***Posted By Permission***

From: James A. [address removed]
To: brian@valueoftruth.org
Sent: Saturday, February 9, 2013 3:08 AM
Subject: Battling Bad thoughts

Dear Brian

I would just like to say a huge thank you to you for writing your article on ‘Bad Thoughts’. For the last 20 years I have been suffering from and battling exactly the same thoughts as you described. I too feared they could be from the devil and often feel like a ‘black sheep’ or imposter at church and bible meetings. Indeed, the only thing which has kept me ‘sane’ is that I feel upset when I have these thoughts, which means I know I don’t really want or mean them.

I suppose they started not too long after becoming a Christian at the age of twelve, but was probably more to do with the passing of my father at the time after a protracted terminal illness. In fact soon after this time I suffered from more familiar OCD symptoms, which over time I managed to conquer.

I also remember reading in the bible about the only sin which would not be forgiven (blaspheming the Holy Spirit) – this played on my mind and may also have contributed to the bad thoughts – i.e so much not wanting to think something that you end up thinking it, if that makes sense!

The ‘bad thoughts’ linger still, particularly at times of stress, but until reading your article I never really associated them with OCD. Also, I believed these thoughts were unique to me.

For years I have thought about seeing a doctor or talking to my pastor, but never really knew how I would start to explain it without sounding nuts, and feared the consequences. Only my mother, and more recently a trusted friend and my wife know about them.

As the internet contains so many forums and shared experiences I thought I would experiment typing in ‘bad thoughts when praying’ to see what came up. I was utterly astonished to come across your article in the results. Apart from the comfort of knowing I am by no means alone (far from it, it seems) it was also liberating to be able to give this ‘enemy’ a name, realising its link to OCD. The analogies used (particularly the radio in the sealed room) are so helpful in being able to describe the condition to others – indeed, it felt as if the article had been written about me!

So I again say a HUGE thanks to you for posting the article it is a great comfort and encouragement and is helping me to face them in a new light. I will also try reading the Psalms to see if that helps too.

God bless


From: brian p [brian@valueoftruth.org]
To: James A. [address removed]
Cc: brian p [brian@valueoftruth.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: Battling Bad thoughts

Hi James,

I apologize for taking so long to respond. I appreciate the email you sent me. What an encouragement!

The strange thing about vain thoughts (intrusive thoughts) is that its difficult to discern their origination. Whether it's the carnal mind (which is possible since our carnal minds are enmity against God - see Romans ch. 8), or whether its our hearts ("...for from within out of the hearts of men proceed evil thoughts," - Mark ch. 7), or whether its the devil (the gospel of John ch. 13 says that the devil put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus), no one can ever be quite sure. Sometimes its one, or the other, or all three.

But, the great thing about God is that he promises, "I will not leave you comfortless." - John 14:18. The Bible says that it is through the patience and COMFORT of the scriptures that we have hope. David said, "This is my COMFORT in my affliction, for thy word hath quickened me." - Psalms 119:50.

Comfort is what we need when going through these difficult situations. Thank God that he is called the Comforter. No need to worry about these vain thoughts... They are easy to overcome if we are willing to give our minds over to the scriptures' power of comfort.

God bless.


BTW - If it is okay with you, I would like to post this email on the website so others can read this testimony and be encouraged. I will keep your name and email anonymous.