Philippians 4:8 | Matthew 6:22-23a | Ephesians 5:4,6-8 | Romans 12:2a 

Wanted: Full-Time Thought Repairman. Overtime and benefits included.

In case you got confused by the “fix your thoughts” bit in the video, here’s a quick recap: John asked, “But how do I fix [my thoughts]?” To which Dylan replied, “By fixing them.” 

And then John ended the third round of this troubling exchange with a threat: “Say ‘fixing them’ one…more…time.” So Dylan quoted John the scripture to which he so annoyingly referred…

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

(Philippians 4:8 NIV)

Get it? “Fix your thoughts” to ‘fix your thoughts’? It’s almost hilarious, isn’t it! Almost…

And it almost seems too simple. Almost. Because fixing your thoughts does not have to be complicated. While there are exceptions (chemical imbalances, etc.), many times the solution to your terrible thought patterns is just to fix them…on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Don’t just pray for God to change your bad thinking to good. While you wait, find some good things to think about. 

Here is something else to think about while you ponder the care and feeding of your thoughts… What are you feeding them? When computers were new, technicians learned the lesson that unwanted output was almost always the result of poor input. Then they coined a phrase that went mainstream: “Garbage in, garbage out.” 

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness.”

(Matthew 6:22-23a NLT)

Think about this: fixing your thoughts might be a lot easier if you start fixing what you watch, read, and listen to. (Just to be clear…we’re talking about TV/movies, books & magazines, and music.) And as Dylan and John mentioned, this may extend to who you choose to spend your free time with.

Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. […] Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!

(Ephesians 5:4,6-8 NLT)

What is going into your body through your eyes? Is it true, honorable, right, pure, etc.? It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is zoning out to, binge-watching, or even binge-reading. But that’s exactly what Paul warned the Christians in Rome NOT to do.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

(Romans 12:2a NLT)

God can make you a new person and even change the way you think, but you have to set aside what everyone else is into to make that possible. So fix those thoughts, and fix those thoughts.

Questions for Group Discussion

  • Have you ever had the feeling that something you were watching/listening to/reading wasn’t good for you, but you continued with it anyway? Did the feeling linger, or did it go away? If the feeling went away, were you glad it did? If not, why?
  • How difficult do you think it would be to change your thinking? Why so difficult, or why so easy?
  • How much control do you think people have over their thoughts? Are you accountable to God for your thoughts, as you are for your actions? Can you help what ‘just pops into your head?’
  • How does what you watch, listen to, and read influence your thinking? Does it influence your thinking as much as who you spend time with?
  • Could changing your influences (media, books, music, friends) have an effect on what thoughts ‘just pop into your head’? If so, is it possible to completely control those thoughts? If not, what can be done about them? 

Challenge: Fixing a Thought

Think you can fix your thoughts? Let’s try it!

  1. Write down one recurring thought, thought pattern, or subject matter you want to change. Maybe you psych yourself out with negative thoughts every time you have to take a test. Maybe you want to quit being so annoyed by your history teacher. Maybe it’s a lie that you can’t seem to stop believing. Write it down.
  2. Next, write down something good that fits the criteria in Philippians 4:8 (true, honorable, right, pure, etc.) which you can think of instead.
  3. Commit to one week of trying to fix the thought. Use a seven-day week instead of Monday through Friday. If it’s Tuesday, then give it until next Tuesday.
  4. Pray and ask God for his help and guidance as you do this.
  5. During the week, when you find yourself thinking the offensive thought (pattern, etc.), focus on describing the good thing from step 2. Start with one sense and go through all five. Describe to yourself what it could look like, then sound like, smell like, feel like, even taste like–if possible. You may need to get creative depending on what the thing is. For example, if it’s helping someone in need…it could look like a hot meal, smell like rice, and so on.
  6. To keep the idea fresh, build on the good thing each time. Continuing with the example above, you could add courses to the hot meal, then subsequent meals. You could also describe the environment in which it takes place–at a restaurant, a shelter, or your kitchen. Once you have exhausted these possibilities, begin to think of the effects of helping the person in need. Maybe they start to feel better about things and are able to help other people. Let your thoughts run wild with this.
  7. At the end of the week, take stock of your progress. Then pray and decide how you want to continue.

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