Every thought you have comes from somewhere. The multiple layers of understanding and creativity we engage with set us apart biologically. But, have you ever wondered about the origin of thought? Is what we think, feel and express simply a combination of random mistakes? Or could there be something else at work within our souls?

I think the first thing to realise when it comes to our thoughts are that there are two kinds:

 Active thought

You could classify learning, conversation and focussed inner dialogue as active. Our thoughts are active when we intentionally harness our abilities towards a goal or outcome.

Passive thought

These are the ideas and impressions we receive without intentional engagement. It may be ‘subliminal’ manipulation, but reactions, irrational outbursts, many emotions and fear are all a result of passive thought.

When it comes to faith, our thought life is absolutely key! These days it is impossible to live a few minutes without your thought-life being invaded by exterior influences. It could be whatsapp, the traffic in the morning or a magazine article you read. It may be the recollection of last night’s conversations or the pressure of a deadline at work… The world is fighting for our attention – for our thoughts.

In this craziness, I have personally seen how my faith can be heavily affected. Faith, in many ways, is not visible or apparent. So when there is an overload of tangible stimulation for my brain, there is obviously a great possibility for me to completely neglect what I truly rely on while being pulled in a million directions – whether I am aware of it or not.

In the Bible, it instructs us to “take every thought captive”. It is a phrase that I am constantly being reminded of. God created us to live in a world of active thought, where we decide what will affect us and intentionally choose what we think, say and do. Some thoughts are never meant to be dwelt upon. There are things that might enter your mind – whether through the influence of others or even random chance – that could take you down roads that have terrible destinations. Biblically, these thoughts could fall under the word ‘temptation’.

Temptation addresses the basis of your thoughts. If you analyse the scene in Eden, Satan simply challenged how Eve thought – with subtleness that successfully affected everything from then on. It is in this ‘grey zone’ where we decide what thoughts we will act upon. If you are looking for a key to what temptation could look like in your life, you can look at what Eve went through.

The Bible says that Eve saw the tree (whatever you are drawn to against your judgement) was:

1) Good for food

2) Pleasing to the eye

3) Good for obtaining knowledge

The temptation that Satan placed before her was to become like God in knowledge. It was all about being enlightened: to understand good and evil.

The key to recognising temptation in your thought-life is simple – look at how Eve saw the tree:

  • Good for food – Temptation meets a basic need. Each of us have legitimate desires that seek to be fulfilled. There should be no guilt in being tempted. It’s all about how you meet the desires you have.
  • Pleasing to the eye – Temptation will always parade the act in question as attractive. If you are drawn to something more than is normal or if you are finding yourself fixating on something – where it is becoming more of a desire than a basic need, then you are engaging with temptation.
  • Good for obtaining knowledge – Eve wanted to be like God, but in doing so she was cutting God out of the picture. If she was like God, she wouldn’t need him. This is the key for us: Will the action you take sever your dependence on God? Will it force you to fend for yourself?

Our thought life is constantly being fought over. It is up to us to decide who actually wins. If you would like to find out more about the good thoughts God intends for you, click on the link below.