As he backed out the door of his shop, the doughnut man juggled a large box in one hand while wrestling with a dozen helium balloons in the other. What caught my eye was the balloons whipping and weaving in the wind as the man hurried to set up his booth for the fair. Reaching the table, he quickly set down the box and, now using both hands, desperately tried to gather his errant balloons. Diving, colliding together, straining, the balloons looked like they would all escape in the wind. Deftly, the owner captured the ribbons attached to the balloons, brought the bundle to safety, and carefully secured them to the rail of his booth.
Smiling at the scene, I was struck by the idea that our thoughts—the things we allow into our minds throughout the day —are just like those balloons. Unsecured balloons can drift with any puff of wind that comes along, can be scattered with a slight breeze, or can whip and weave with sudden gusts of wind at any time. So it is with our thoughts. If our thoughts are not “secured,” they, too, will drift, will be scattered, will whip and weave uncontrollably through our minds.
God’s Word is filled with passages that direct us to secure our thoughts on His truths. II Corinthians 10: 5 states, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
As I examine this verse, I notice I have responsibility to take action with my thought life. First, I am to cast down, destroy, or demolish any speculation, any argument, and any imagination that places itself as more important than the truths of God: fears, anxieties, jealousies, bitterness, angry thoughts, selfish ambitions, self-righteous thoughts, envy, imaginations, and lies.
That means that when thoughts drift into my mind like, “I think she thinks that I…But I don’t want to…What if…I am to deliberately and intentionally control those thoughts. I like to picture the wrong thought as a balloon which I must pop, or as a ribbon I must let go to release the thought from my mind.
The second part of the verse gives me my next responsibility: “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I am to deliberately “capture” my thoughts so they conform to what Christ wants in my thought life. Psalm 19:14 says “Let the…meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” I picture my thoughts as balloons and consciously think of anchoring the “ribbon” from that thought to a truth from God’s Word that meets my specific situation. Am I thinking angry thoughts about another person? I must anchor the “ribbon” to James 1:19-20 and remember to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger because my anger does not achieve the righteousness of God. Am I fearful about the financial situation of my family? I anchor the ribbon to Hebrews 13:5-6 that tells me I should be free from the love of money and content with what I have. God Himself has said He will never desert me or forsake me, so I can be confident that “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” I can control those fearful, wind-blown thoughts by securing them to the truths and promises of God’s Word.
In anchoring my thoughts to a solid foundation, I need to make sure that I am having right thinking about God. I find my thoughts get scattered, whipped, and strained when I allow wrong thoughts about God to confuse and disrupt my mind. That’s when I deliberately and consciously anchor those thoughts to the truths about God I need to cling to. I hold tightly to the truth that God is sovereign and in control of all things (Isaiah 46:9-10). He does all things for His glory and for my good. He is working to conform me to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29). He is holy and calls me to be holy as He is holy (I Peter 1:15-16). He always loves me (Romans 8:35-39).
The picture of balloons helps me to be more attentive to my thoughts throughout the day. When you see a bundle of balloons let that picture remind you to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Written by Margaret Ubben. This article was published in the Fall 20010 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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