"I wonder if I would get caught if I keyed every single car in this parking lot," I thought to myself. Yes, I thought this. Me. Sweet, trusting, innocent (okay, my husband would disagree strongly with this one), obedient me. Why would a thought like this come into my head in the first place? Beats me. Why would I entertain a thought like this? I didn't. It left my head as quickly as it came, with a chuckle following it.
Where do my thoughts come from? Are they really mine? Can my thoughts be trusted? There are three sources for my thoughts: God, the enemy, and me.
What kind of thoughts come from God? Truthful, loving, kind, and honest thoughts come from him. Thoughts of shame, self doubt, and fear, among others, do not originate with the creator of the world. Those belong to his enemy, the Devil.
I know the Devil exists. I have heard that he is trying to stop those who are following God in this life. I greatly underestimate his power. I do not acknowledge his influence (or desired influence) on my life, especially my thought life, as much as I should. When I think about keying cars, yelling at my children, or worrying about the future, I know the Devil has influenced those thoughts more than God has.
What about the third source? Where do my own thoughts fit into the picture? They are shaped by the information I take in around me. What I read, what I see, and what I listen to all contribute to shaping the thoughts that I have.
"Oh, be careful little eyes what you see! Oh, be careful little feet where you go!" A childish, but truthful song perhaps I need to pay more attention to.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) NKJV
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) NLT
When random thoughts come into my head, I can quickly assess their origin if I know the truth about each source. What does God say about me? What does the Devil want me to believe? What have I been filling my head with lately? If the thoughts are not Godly in nature, I can choose to send them packing. Keeping a sense of humor in all of this is a must. Otherwise, tomorrow's headlines might read, "Dedicated Christian Mom of Three Arrested for Vandalizing 40 Cars Outside of Zumba Class." Entire story on page B4.
"Father, please help me to focus on the thoughts that come from you, whatever is good, lovely, and praiseworthy. Give me wisdom in not dwelling on those that originate elsewhere. I want to trust what you say is true about me and disregard the lies of the enemy. Amen."