How to argue (with ourself)

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

Do you ever talk to yourself?  Typically, when we think about the word “argue” it is with respect to arguing with another person, trying to prove that our point is right and superior to someone else’s views on some issue.   But in the verse above, I believe Paul has just as much in mind the way we talk to ourselves. 

Our thought life is a battleground.  The Scriptures tell us that “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).  However, this is not a natural tendency, thus the command.  How quickly our thoughts can become anything but these things.  Doubt, fear, unbelief, anger, lust, impurity, and untold numbers of lies can be the things that plague our thoughts, and if we continue to dwell there, sinful words and actions will almost certainly result.  To combat these ways of thinking we are told to argue with ourselves when we recognize that such thoughts have crept into our minds.  Any time that we find ourselves dwelling on something that we know – or even think might be – in opposition to the Word of God, we are told to destroy that thinking with the Truth.  We are to do battle with wrong thoughts with the Truth of the Word of God. 

When I am afraid, it is time to remember “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me” (Psalm 56:3-4)?  When I am tempted to lust, it is then that I am to remember “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9) and “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (Job 31:1).  When I feel condemned because of foolish choices or mistakes I’ve made, I can remember “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),” and “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39-39). 

I heard one pastor put it this way – “The reason we memorize Bible verses is so that we can have Bible studies with the devil” for it is the devil that can jump on our thought life with both feet, and we don’t help ourselves much when our thoughts are misdirected to ungodly ways.  May God help us to take control of our thought lives by attacking disobedient and wayward opinions and arguments – including our own – with the eternal, perfect “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

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