Ants. “My husband said I have ants,” my friend said.
“What does he mean, you have ants? Doesn’t he mean we have ants?”
“No, not those kinds of ants. He means automatic negative thoughts, you know, ants.”
“Ohhhhh…” I nodded my head in understanding. Let’s say you find an envelope from the IRS in your mailbox. Some people might automatically assume their refund check has arrived; their thoughts automatically go to a positive outcome. Others are certain the envelope holds an invitation to meet an IRS agent in person, and not for tea; they have automatic negative thoughts, ants. Sadly, those kinds of ants have darkened my mental doorway more than once. It’s a pest problem I have determined to exterminate.
Some people think that you can’t control the thoughts that come into your mind, but I am not sure I completely agree. I think of the mind like a sophisticated muscle, and like other muscles, it has memory. If it is trained properly, we can change its shape, the same way we change the shape of our arms and legs with exercise. Sure, there are going to be times when thoughts just randomly come into your mind, but once they get there it is up to you, and me, to decide what to do with them.
I hear my ant loving friends out there saying, “Oh, that’s fine if you want to live in la la land but I prefer to be realistic”. I like living in reality, too, but the reality is we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or five minutes from now for that matter. Maybe sometimes, realistically, the outcome looks less than favorable; but how often do we jump to that conclusion automatically, when a favorable outcome could be just as realistic? That’s an ant problem and it’s not the way God intends for us to live.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Imagine, our minds can be guarded by the peace of God!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
True. Noble. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Praiseworthy. Think about it.
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 10:4-6
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ ~ God would not tell us to do something we are incapable of doing. Have an ant problem? Put away that can of Raid ~ nothing beats the Bible to exterminate those pesky pests.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24