What does it really mean to take every thought captive? Put on your cowgirl boots and imagine this scenario with me…
I was at my first rodeo…yes, this WAS my first rodeo. The little calf bursts from the stall, and then the cowboy and his steed follow in close pursuit. With his lasso in hand, the cowboy swings the rope in the air and attempts to catch the little heifer before she escapes out the corral door at the opposite side of the arena. That is a vivid picture of what we need do with the words that attempt to escape the gate (the mouth). We need to lasso them with the word of truth and rein them in. Throw them down in the dirt and tie them up if necessary.
The Bible teaches us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Once we lasso a thought (take it captive), we can decide which words leave the gate and which words need to be tied up and secured.
Various studies show that we speak at about 120 to 160 words a minute. That’s a lot of little heifers to rope in, but I believe we can do it! Let’s take a look at how to reign in our words. First, a thought bursts from the stall called the brain. It runs across the mind headed for the door called the mouth. In a split second we must determine if that thought is true, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind. You can remember that with the acronym T.H.I.N.K.
If we determine that the words don’t fit that description, then we lasso them with the rope of kindness and never let them out of the gate. If they do line up true, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind, we let them go free.
Toxic thoughts produce toxic talk. Think about what you’re thinking about. If you’re stewing on toxic thoughts in your head, then you’ll be spewing toxic words from your mouth.
Paul gives us a way to detoxify our thoughts by filtering them through the sieve of the truth that is very similar to T.H.I.N.K. He wrote:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you,” (Philippians 4:8,9)
Much like the acronym T.H.I.N.K., we should consider this about our words:
Are they true? Are these words reliable, certain, in accordance with fact, exact, and accurate? Do they line up with God’s truth? For example, when we speak negatively about someone, we should consider: Do these words fit with God’s view of this person as His image bearer?
Are they noble? Because I am a child of the King, my words should reflect nobility. Is what I am about to say demonstrating high moral character or ideals? Is it language that exhibits excellent qualities or a person with royal rank?
Are they right? Are these words virtuous, in accordance with fact and not assumption? Are they appropriate, suitable, and reputable? Right words at the wrong time become wrong words. Is this the right time, or do I need to wait for a more appropriate time?
Are they pure? Are these words free from anything that taints, or infects the reputation of another? Are these words tainted by my own sin, or do they reflect the righteousness of Christ that has been given to me?
Are they lovely? Do these words inspire love, affection, or admiration? Are they morally or spiritually attractive or gracious? Do these words conjure up a picture of beauty or loveliness?
Are they admirable? Do these words inspire others to see excellent qualities in another person? Do the words paint a picture of praise or excellence?
Are they excellent? Do these words reflect goodness, exceptional merit, or virtue? Are they of a high moral nature? Would God rank them as “excellent” if they were spoken?
Are they praiseworthy? Do these words stir a sense of praise or condemnation?
Now that is a lot to think about, considering that the mind thinks about 130-160 words per minute. It is unlikely that we will have the time or the wherewithal to filter every word through this eight-layer sieve. However, Paul doesn’t just leave us with the qualifying list; he gives us the means by which to implement it. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.”
It takes practice! Practice! Practice! Practice! But look at the result: “And the God of peace will be with you.”
Lord, sometimes I can’t believe what comes out of my mouth! Help me to think before I speak. I pray that my words will speak life to those around me and not death. Give me the wisdom and self-control to speak words that are only true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you’ll join me in memorizing T.H.I.N.K, leave a comment and say, “I’m in!”
Did you know that you same, print, and share the graphics at the top of the post?
The re-released and updated version of my best-selling book and Bible study guide, The Power of a Woman’s Words: How the Words You Speak Shape the Lives of Others are hot off the press. They include new content, including a chapter on the power of a woman’s words to her adult children…it’s complicated! Perfect for your women’s ministry’s next Bible study!
Words are one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and God has entrusted them to you! They echo in hearts and minds long after they are spoken. How will we use this gift? Your words can change the course of someone’s day…even someone’s life. Learn how to
- exchange careless words that hurt for intentional words that help others succeed
- recognize words that tear down confidence and replace them with words that build others up
- overcome the negativity that pushes people away and become a well of positivity that draws others in
- tame your tongue by practicing practical principles that help you think before you speak
- stop being disappointed in your lack of control by taking hold of the power of the Holy Spirit
Thank you Sharon for this insight! This is something I struggle with and pray about all the time.
I so need to T.H.I.N.K. before I speak. With God’s grace, and through practice, I know i will get better and better at it.
I’m in. Thank u 4 the reminder 2 T H I N K, before i speak.
Love your book.
I am in
I am in. My words have been reckless and i need to change what comes out of my mouth and the way it is said. Lord been convicting me on this.
You are not alone!
I just put this on my home screen on my phone!!! Need this to remind me throughout the day !!!
What a great idea!
Guilty! In much need of this word today.
I am in.
Loved the book! Our bibke study used it in zoom group session.
I am in!
Thank you for today’s message. It is what I needed for today. You see I am a director of a department and oversee a team that are
constantly complaining and no matter what I say or do it to help ot is not good enough. I sometimes get frustrated and say things that don’t help. The changes starts with me and my way of communicating. I am in! Today is the day that I will begin my verbal transformation. -Thank you!
Blessings, what a beautiful way to start my morning.. Knowing that I can control my words, and the Lord gave us instructions to do so! May the Lord continue to bless you 🕊️
Thank you Sharon! I am struggling with my thoughts and words during this election year.
I just remind myself that Jesus will not return on Air-force One.
Love you, Sharon! Thank you for being an inspiration and I’M IN!
Love you too!
I am in
Very much needed thank you for your word. I will practice, practice, practice, in Jesus name to speak words of encouragement.
Sharon, I’m in!!
What a great acronym to keep this top of mind. 120-160 words per minute leaves a lot of room for harm if we don’t T.H.I.N.K first. I’m grateful for the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to help me.
Thank you for sharing God’s directive in 2 Corinthians 10 and God’s promise found in Philippians 4. Blessings to you!
A very necessary teaching.
thank you so much
I always need help with words most definitely.
every day every hour.
Awesome read, needs practice, practice and more practice! Thank you
I’m in! Awesome and much needed Word.
Good morning! Rhoda from Rockland County NY. I thank you for that reminder and I commit to practice/apply T.H.I N.K with God helps. I will not able to apply it daily with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Good morning, I truly was inspired my this neccesary message. It’s so important to think before we speak, especially if it’s affects others in a negative way.
Thank you for this timely message and reminder that how we think comes out our mouth! Toxic thoughts = toxic words. I really needed this today!
I’m in! Thank you, Sharon for this reminder! I love your books. As many times as we read this, how quickly we forget. I’m also trying to remember that more is caught than taught with my teen girls. Your new chapter on talking to your adult children…almost every negative example is my mother…it makes me not even want to go visit her. I have to stop grumbling about her in front of my girls.
Sharon, thank you for your YES in sitting down to capture this revelation and then in sharing it. I lay in bed this morning awakened by some nasty thoughts that were running wild in my head regarding some people I’m connected to. It’s been affecting and infecting me more than I wanted to admit to and I thought I was doing a good job at stuffing and ignoring it. As I lay there I said to Holy Spirit, this isn’t Healthy and I know I’ve got to confront these thoughts, acknowledge my feelings and bring it all into God’s Presence so that He can properly set my perspective. I said today help me to deal with these thoughts that are hardening my heart. I got up to get the day started with my Daddy Daughter time. I went looking for something else and your email sort of was highlighted almost saying “PARK HERE!” So I took heed and Sweet Jesus!! At first I carried and felt like a failure for how I let my mouth be more of a massacre than a miracle. But then I realized that this was His Everlasting Love NOT condemning me but correcting me and my perspective and so I thanked Him for answering my prayer just like that.
All of this to say 🗣 I’M IN!!! I’ll put it into practice and rejoice for any progress made!
Confront thoughts acknowledge and bring into Gods Presence WOW! I am in
I’m in…..ALL IN!
Thank you, Sharon…I’m in! This is a struggle for me sometimes. The THINK acronym will help remind me, though. This message came at the right time and I will put this topic at the top of my prayer list. Bless you and your ministry! I always look forward to your messages.
I’m in! ALL in!
Thank you for writing this book! I love how you broke it down and give examples of different ways to say things. My words have been unkind to so many for so long, its difficult to change. I know that its possible with intentional thinking. I am working at it daily. I love the Lord for putting your help in my hands. I’M IN!
Have a Blessed day
Aw, I’m in! 👍✝️ Sharon, I thank God for you. GRACE. GRATITUDE. BLESSINGS.🕊
Amen. I am all in.
I will join you in memorizing and learning to put THINK into daily practice!
love this!!!! I love the T.H.I.N.K. acronym… and hopefully will be able to capture my thoughts and think on such things <3 Thank you Sharon Jaynes God bless you!
I’m in! Boy did I need this! Now I need to apply it. Thank you Sharon.
I’m In T.H.I.N.K. – Lord Jesus help me keep my red devil behind those pearly gates!
Thank you. This was God’s gift to me today. It came at the perfect time. I found out me divorce was finalized today. It was not something I wanted. I wished, prayed and begged for my marriage to be restored but it was not meant to be. Needless to say I’ve have some not so kind words for God or my now ex. I’m glad this came to be able to snap me back to rightful ways and words.
I am so sorry. I remember during one of the greatest losses of my life, I finally came to the place of stop saying “why me” and started saying “what now.” I pray that for you! God has great things in store. Keep your eyes open!
Thank you Sharon for being obedient to God’s call. You’re an inspiration and a joy in my life, family and friends too. I struggle with my words escaping my mouth and have been praying for help! God is so good to us! He’s always talking with with us. All we have to do is listen. 🤗❤️
I’m ALL in
Thanks ! Sharon
In these troubling times we all need to focus on his word. Guilty as charged of letting negative thoughts override the Glory of his Promises. So in!
I am !!!in Lord please help me to Girdle my tongue.. To speak life and not death
Thank you for this. I really needed it this. I’m in.
Guilty- I’m in
I’m in! Very timely! I just ordered the book had this. T.H.I.N.K conversation this morning with my adult son Jonathan in reference to my daughter Mary(23). Thank God for his Grace and Renewed mercies each day! As apart of my daily prayer Psalm 51. So quick to respond not listen and speak.. Please keep Me and Mary in prayer!
Thank you Sharon! I’m in!
I opened this devotional and I was so drawn in. I’ve been going through a long season of personal hurt and I am growing sensitive through and by the Holy Spirit to wash my mind & mouth clean.
Like David, I call God to cleanse me and renew a new spirit within me. These words you’ve just shared are my new marching orders.
I am in. Thank you for reminding me the power of my words. The tongue holds both Life and death.
I’m In! It’s been rough through this quarantine to stay inside with my hubby who can be very critical and judgmental. I’ve been equally defensive and abrasive and now I see I need to stop before I speak. The acronym THINK is such a good way to let the Holy Spirit guide my words that will bring peace and harmony into our “discussions.” Thank you for this great way to find the peace of God.
I’m in. Have been conscientiously working on t.h.i.n.k. -ing before opening my mouth. Pray daily that God keep my mouth shut when it needs to be shut, open when it needs to be open and that He fill my mouth with the words I need to speak!
I’m in 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
I’m in! Did this Bible study years ago with our women’s group. Such powerful lessons learned. Thank you Sharon
I heard Jesus talk to me. I prayed about my past. Still having trouble with my husband.
I am in.
I need it.
Thank you Sharon!
I saw you at Great Bridge VA!
I am in
I would like you to please do a teaching on how to control the influence of negative words on us. I really like this teaching as I’ve been trying to work on words and their impact. I’m not quick to speak but a dwell a lot on words spoken to me. And that influences what I say. I’d like some help with that.
I’m in! I definitely need this reminder daily. It’s hard not to get “sucked in” to negativity and gossip at work. We tend to phrase it as ok bc we are just “venting” but sin is sin no matter what we call it. I truly need to T.H.I.N.K.
I’m in. Thank you so much for this beautiful piece.
Thank you Sharon! I’m in.
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)
I’m in and I’m actually doing the Bible study with this book. I am learning a lot… about myself, my words and my God.
Thank you for breaking the word we use almost everything to a new meaning.
I’m going to do my best…
The right words at the wrong time-something I so need to THINK about!!
i am in
I’m in!!!! Thankful for this reminder that my spirit so desperately needed ❤️
Thank you Sharon THINK is a Conscious part of my thoughts to speak life to create a win win atmosphere for myself and others! Bless you
I am in! Thank you. 🙏
I’m in! Ready to rope in the lil heifers!! Thank you!
“Set a watch upon my lips, my tongue CONTROL today.
Help me EVALUATE each thought and GUARD each word I say.’
I am so IN!
What a timely devotional!!! Especially during this particular election year and all the going’s on with the chaos in our country. I have become so disappointed in what’s becoming of this “new” America and I’ve been extremely critical of the Democrats, Liberals and everyone else who are destroying my country. It’s becoming an obsession with me.
Thank you so much for this. God bless you and your ministry. I am always so blessed by it.
I’m IN for sure. I will T.H.I.N.K before opening my mouth (with the Holy Spirit’s help, of course).
I am in
I’m in! Thank You so much!!
So good. So needed.
THIS IS SOMETHING I DEFINATLEY NEED TO WORK ON…I’M IN.
I’m in. Thank you so much Sharon. God continually bless your ministry.
…. life it TOO busy! lol – Proof?? I’ve HAD this lovely email in my inbox since September 2020, … keep telling myself that I WILL sit & Read it… Finally read it today ( April 8th, No Foolin”) And I’m going to write this down ( no printer in the house!) Never Too Late to Learn!