11 praying girlI saw an astounding bit of research recently from the book “Get Out Of Your Head” by Jennie Allen, which stated an estimated 60-80% of visits to primary care physicians have a stress-related component, and 75-98% of mental, physical and behavioral illness comes from one's thought life. Psychologists, doctors and scientists have made more discoveries about the brain in the last 20 years than ever before, confirming that mental, physical and behavioral health are all intricately connected in our bodies. 

I'm personally convinced that if we could do one thing and one thing only, many of our health problems would resolve themselves:

Take every thought captive to Christ. 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I think taking every thought captive could cure cancer, but I do think it could make a huge difference in improving health overall.

In that same book, Allen also writes, “The greatest spiritual battle of our generation is being fought between our ears.” I can get on board with that. Most, if not all, of the most prevalent issues today, like body image, jealousy brought on by social media, pressure to be successful, thoughts of not being enough, anger, bitterness, materialism, etc. start in the mind. If we can't shuffle through the 30,000 thoughts we have in a day and find the ones that are healthy, which I imagine are few and far between for most of us, it's no wonder things like depression, anxiety, bullying, violence and suicide plague our society. If we can't control our emotions, we can't control our thoughts. If we can't control our thoughts, we can't control our decisions. If we can't control our decisions, we can't control our behavior. If we can't control our behavior, someone, whether it's ourselves or others, will get hurt. It all starts in the mind.

I truly believe the Bible proves itself true time and time again, especially when it comes to taking control of our own thoughts. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” 

Not only do we know the majority of health problems today exist or are exacerbated by something going on in our minds, but we also know that the brain is constantly changing, whether or not we want it to. What we focus on becomes our reality. Every new thought we allow to take root in us grows and transforms our lives, whether positively or negatively. It changes how we live, what we think of other people, what we think about the world and our place in it and what we think about God. 

The good news? We actually do have a choice. Our emotions do not have to dictate our lives. We can change our thought patterns. We can rewrite our minds. I personally believe it starts in the Bible. God wants you to have the fruits of his spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Start in his word, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. It truly does start there.

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