Any number of thoughts can flow through your mind throughout the work day, but only you can control which ones are invited to stay. Begin today to transform your life for the better by eliminating the following common types of toxic thoughts:
Worry. Jesus says in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry” Later, in Luke 21:14 he also says “make up your mind not to worry.” Worrying changes nothing. It holds you back, slows you down, and gets you nowhere. Worried people have contaminated their thinking with a foreboding sense of misfortune.
Instead of worrying be obedient to Philippines 4:6 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Replace your worries with the promises of God’s grace and sovereignty.
Anger. Ephesians 4:31 declares, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Nursing anger toward another person is toxic to your well-being. Proverbs 29:22 says, “a hot-tempered one commits many sins.”
The primary cause of persistent anger is unforgiveness. This is why in Matthew 18:22 Jesus tells us to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” To forgive seventy-seven times is a metaphor for unlimited forgiveness. Forgiveness is not justifying the other person’s actions, mitigating the consequences, or denying the hurt. Forgiveness is releasing the other person to God and then getting on with your own life.
Jealousy. Paul makes the serious nature of jealousy clear in Galatians 5:20 when he includes it in this list of destructive behaviors: “idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions.” Jealousy is a corrosive emotion; it is worldly and not of God and its consequences are always negative.
The next time you begin to feel jealous of a co-worker, use it as a warning sign to turn your thoughts back to your own gifts and callings. Give the other person over to God and concentrate on the many things God has given you. Do this and you will be too invested in your own good work to become jealous of others.
Your mind is a battlefield.
Finally, remember that your mind is a battlefield. Follow God’s advice in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” To “take captive” is to subjugate, to bring under control and to lead away like a prisoner in chains.
What you think influences who you are. It’s your mind—take back the control, guard it, and concentrate on things that are positive, productive, and hopeful. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”