In my last post I mentioned that I struggle with fear. Fear has ruled my life for a long time. And just when I think that I have it somewhat under control, it rears its ugly head again. It begins with a small thought that usually begins with the phrase “what if”. However, that small thought usually grows into a big mess and by the end of it, I have convinced myself that the worst possible scenario is going to happen and it leaves me frozen in fear.
I think our thought lives are similar to a garden. The true, beautiful, noble thoughts are like the flowers we are trying to grow in the garden. They make our lives beautiful. The negative thoughts, those “what if” questions that spiral out of control are like the weeds in the garden. They pop up and are small and may seem insignificant at first. We convince ourselves that we don’t really need to worry about them. But as every gardener knows, most weeds don’t remain small. If you don’t remove the weeds they will completely take over your garden and interfere with what you are trying to grow. The weeds will eventually become bigger and wilder than what you have planted. As the weeds grow bigger, they block the sunlight from getting to your flowers. The weeds will suck up the water and fertilizer meant for your flowers hindering their growth. Finally, as the weeds grow, their roots grow as well and can choke and kill your flowers.
Just like a gardener must remove the weeds from his garden on a regular basis, we must remove the negative thoughts in our lives. Those thoughts may seem small and insignificant at first, but if we don’t remove them they will destroy our thoughts that are true. In order to do this, we must learn to identify these negative and untrue thoughts and then put a stop to them. The Bible gives us a guideline in Philippians 4:8 for doing this. This verse tells us what things we should think on in our lives. It states: “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” (NIV)
Whenever a thought enters your mind that starts to cause you to feel uneasy or fearful, you should ask yourself these questions: Is it true? Is it noble? Is it right? Is it pure? Is it lovely? Is it admirable? Is it excellent or praiseworthy? If the thought doesn’t fall into one of these categories, then pluck it from your mind like a weed from the garden. Don’t allow negative and untrue thoughts to cause fear in your life.