Taking Negative Thoughts Captive

Do you struggle with runaway negative thoughts? It’s time to take them captive! I’m thrilled to have author and speaker Jennifer Rothschild as my guest today.

Jennifer has learned to live beyond limits ever since her life drastically changed at the age of fifteen, when she lost her sight.

Now, more than 30 years later, she boldly and compassionately teaches fresh, grounded, Biblical truth to women who, like her, are determined to pursue healthy and fulfilling lives in spite of their circumstances.

Jennifer is the author of 15 books, including the best-selling Lessons I Learned in the Dark, the popular Me, Myself and Lies Bible study, 66 Ways God Loves You: Experience God’s Love for You in Every Book of the Bible and her latest book, Me, Myself & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.

Connect with Jennifer directly at http://www.jenniferrothschild.com.

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1. What are your favorite scriptures that help you manage your emotions and why?

  • “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” which is 1 Peter 5:7.This verse is one of my favorites because it gives me something to do with the hard situations or difficult emotions I am dealing with; it tells me where to put my concern or anxiety. Instead of carrying it around I can hand it off to Jesus. He invites me to, He wants me to, He tells me to.
  • A second verse I go to is 2 Corinthians 10:5. This Scripture helps me manage the thoughts that seem to race in before I can catch them. It gives me a to-do list for those runaway thoughts.

First, it tells me to hold the thought captive. In other words, don’t let it rush in. I hold the thought outside the door of my “thought closet” and refuse it entry if it is not true or constructive. Then, I replace it with truth. In that way, I make my thoughts and emotions obey Christ.

2. What are 3 of your best tips to help others manage their emotions in Godly ways?

1. Shift your attention to something broader. Hope is lost when you focus only on your own problems. But choosing hope widens your perspective. You will see the true size and shape of your problem more clearly when you look at it from a different angle.

2. Focus on Someone Bigger. When you put your eyes on God, you see that He is bigger than your problem and bigger than your perception of the problem.

Your difficulties may seem higher than you can see, deeper than you can tunnel beneath, and wider than you can walk around. Nevertheless, the arm of the Lord is never too short to grip you by the hand and take you over, under, around, or through any difficulty that life brings to your doorstep.

3. Think about someplace better. The future promise of heaven can give you strength and perspective for today. When you think about the reality of heaven someday, you would be strengthened and never disappointed because your ultimate hope will be in a reality beyond the shifting, drifting situations of this uncertain life.

4. What sabotaging thoughts (lies) do Believers need to release that keep them in bondage to negative emotions? 

Lie: “Who I am is what I do.”

If we always associate our identity with our occupation or our abilities, when our occupation or abilities change, we get very confused about who we really are.

Lie: “Who I am is what I struggle with.”

If we think that we are what we’ve done or what we have failed at, then we will have a wrong perception of our true value. We are not our success or failure. We are who God says we are.

Kim’s Note: I wrote about this very issue of which Jennifer speaks in an article entitled, “My Problem with Overeater’s Anonymous.

Lie: “Who I am is not good enough.”

We are often are performance-driven and it just feels like we can’t do enough or be enough. But we can become provision-driven — recognizing that God is good, He is enough and He has provided for us, so we can rest in His finished work.

4. What are some things Believers can do at the “moment of decision” when they are tempted to practice destructive behavior when emotionally upset?

Choose the words you say to yourself wisely. What we choose to say to ourselves in those moments of crisis can either be gasoline words or water words. Water words are words of grace and truth. They are encouraging and kind. When we speak water words to ourselves, they extinguish the fire of anger or fear. 

However, gasoline words are harsh and severe. They scold and condemn. When we speak gasoline words to our souls, they make that emotional fire within us erupt and it can become an inferno that consumes us. 

So, choose some water words that you can have ready to throw on the fire when sparks begin to fly.

–  Jennifer

Connect with Jennifer at www.jenniferrothschild.com.

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I thank Jennifer for sharing her wisdom with us!

Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,

Kimberly Taylor

Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program

  • Faith Simone says:

    I so needed to read this tonight! Going through a challenging time and struggling with a lot of anxiety. Thank you both for the encouraging words.

  • Karen says:

    So grateful for this teaching. Knowing that you have to change your thoughts and finding yourself actually doing it are two different matters!
    I am growing and gaining a whole new vision of who I am is a gift God is giving me….. Don’t know why things seem toughest before the breakthrough…..As long as we don’t give in we will get the breakthrough.
    This teaching is exactly what has been happening and exactly what I need to fully grasp as a daily discipline.
    Thank you,
    Karen

  • Kanyinsola Alimi says:

    Dear Kimberly, thank you forever.
    Remain forever blessed in Jesus Name.

  • Thokozile says:

    My sincere thanks for the reminder that our GOD IS GREATER THAN our problems and challenges. Stay blessed Kim and Jennifer

  • Taris Partee says:

    Powerful food for thought!

  • Lillian Smith says:

    This provided wonderful insight and inspiration. God bless you!

  • Davene says:

    Thx for the share ! I battle with negative thoughts and this really helped me.

  • Noelle says:

    Oh the flesh !!! I really need to die to the flesh . Why does it take so long and it’s so difficult.

    • Hi Noelle! The flesh can really frustrate you. It even frustrated the apostle Paul and he wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament! In Romans 7:15, he says: “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” I know I can relate to this! But in the same chapter, he gives the answer: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

      It’s only through Jesus that we can have victory over the flesh. I didn’t say it was easy but it is possible! So I encourage you Sister not to focus on how long and difficult the process is, but on the reward that awaits you as you rest in Jesus and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Ask Him in prayer the area in which the flesh is oppressing you and then do what He says to do to get the victory. It is yours, but it must be appropriated every day.

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