After my husband’s first season of coaching, I remember the anxiousness I felt as my mind traveled down a road of negative thoughts. What if the organization felt he didn’t do a good job in his first season? What if they decided to not give him a raise for next season? Forget the raise! What if they decided to not renew his contract for the following year?
So many negative thoughts whirled through my head! This baseball life with its so many uncertainties will do that to you.
And you too may have similar thoughts running through your head as we are quickly approaching the end of this baseball season, especially for the minor leagues. It is so easy to get caught up with doubtful thoughts, anxious thoughts, negative thoughts…isn’t it?
During my experience, I remember thinking…wait a minute…as a Christian I shouldn’t have negative thoughts, right? That was something from my old life before I became a Christian. It wasn’t supposed to follow me into my new life with Christ! Right?
Easier said than done.
Thoughts are powerful! And negative thoughts especially can be very disabling IF we don’t take control of them!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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."
This verse is key in taking control of our negative thoughts! We are supposed to take them captive and make them obedient to Christ.
What exactly does that mean?
Well, whether it’s our own thought or a thought planted by the enemy (Satan, the devil, whatever you want to call him!), we must compare it to God’s Word.
That’s why it’s important to know what God’s Word says in order to compare what is in our mind with what is in the mind of God. Once we have determined that our thought is not a Godly thought, we need to apply what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says about taking the thought captive.
That negative or wrong thought basically needs to bow down in obedience to Christ. It cannot be placed above the knowledge of God.
So how can we do this practically? Well, here are some ways that have personally helped me in controlling my thoughts.
- We must accept responsibility for our thoughts. Are you willing to admit that you can, with God’s help, gain control over your thoughts?
- Our mind, not just our behavior, must change. We must work on disciplining our minds from which our behaviors stem. We must allow God to transform us by renewing our mind on a daily basis.
- We need to think through our problems rather than just react to them. I know, again easier said than done! What is your first reaction when you experience difficult challenges? We don’t have to get trapped by negative thoughts!
- We need to take our negative thoughts captive. Confront them, compare them to God’s Word, and take them captive immediately each time they pop into our head.
- We must CHOOSE to focus on the right things. Phil 4:8 says to think on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.
- We must believe that it is possible. Take heart, as God empowers you to focus your mind on the right things it will become easier. Do not give up!
In baseball and in life, there are so many unknowns. My hope and prayer is that we can all be more disciplined in controlling our thoughts and prevent our minds from traveling down a negative road.