Guard your mind during a marriage retreat, on a regular basis I ask people how well do you guard your mind and take control of your thoughts? It’s not easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things that you’ll do. Psychiatric medications are some of the most prescribed medications in America. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/1-in-6-americans-takes-a-psychiatric-drug/.
Some people need these meds in order to help alleviate the symptoms associated with different types of mental disorders, such as long term depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, long term anxiety, and others. Psychiatric medications are an important part of a comprehensive plan for effectively treating people who have a mental health concern or mental illness.
We need to understand that these drugs are not a long term plan for good mental health. God gave us everything we need in order to cope with our everyday problems. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6,7
The question that needs to be asked is, how do I do it?
- God is in control
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
A lot of things are out of our control, we can rest on this promise that if we are saved and love God, He will work all these things together for our good.
- Don’t say “I will try”
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
How often do we say, “I will try?” In the wise words of Yoda: “ No! Try not. Do or do not.”
“Try” is a word that will lead us into failure. Be willing to “work on it” and then put the effort in to the process. Christ strengthens us when things get hard. We need to depend on Him and pray for His strength.
- There is always a way out of temptation
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
We can resist temptation because other people have faced it successfully. God won’t give us more than we are able to bear, and always makes a way of escape.
- Don’t Quit
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
We should keep pushing at doing the right thing, because even if it seems like we’re not getting anywhere, in time we will bear fruit and have victory.
- Be slow to anger
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11
Get out of your emotion and into your logic. When we are operating in our emotion we are not thinking with the higher functions of the brain.
- Control your thought-life
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We can and should control what we think about, to focus our thoughts on Godly things. Be sure to check yourself, check what you’re daydreaming about, whether it is sinful or not, for these are the things that come from the enemy.
- What to think about
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
When we struggle with depression or bad thoughts, we need to figure out good things to meditate on instead.
- Cultivate good friendships
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1Corinthians 15:33
It is so easy to be led down the wrong path by the friends that we have, so we need to choose our friends carefully.
- Confess and be forgiven
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
As believers we shouldn’t need to feel guilty about things we have done in the past – if we confess them to God, He will forgive us.