“When we replace toxic thoughts with God’s positive truth, it transforms our heart, soul, and mind, including physical healing to the brain.”
Isaiah 61 proclaims the Messiah would come with the good news of salvation and would come to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim liberty to captives in prison. This Old Testament prophet indicated that God’s truth heals broken hearts and sets free hurting people who are held captive by their toxic thinking. We learn in the New Testament that God was manifest in the flesh as the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to earth to become the supreme sacrifice on the cross in payment for our sins. We can experience salvation by obeying the command to repent of our sins, be baptized in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).When we replace toxic thoughts with God’s positive truth, it transforms our heart, soul, and mind, including physical healing to the brain. Click To Tweet
Salvation removes our sins. God forgives and forgets our sins according to Scripture. What we need to understand, however, is that salvation does not remove our experiences in life or emotions. Yes, we will experience the joy of the Lord in the newness of our salvation, but if we come from a deeply wounded background, we may experience an emotional letdown within a few hours or days after our initial salvation. The negative self-talk that is a result of emotional wounds can overwhelm us. But God is the healer of our emotional wounds. The process of healing comes with the understanding that Satan is our adversary. He knows our past but not our future. Only God knows our whole life from beginning to end. Satan takes what he knows about us and plants toxic thoughts in our mind about our life. Toxic thoughts can create anxiety that leads to depression.
Replace Toxic Thoughts with God’s Truth
Satan’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy us, even after salvation. Satan wants us to focus on the painful events of our life to make us feel helpless, hopeless, worthless, and unlovable.
God is the healer of our emotional wounds.
God, the wonderful counselor, tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Thoughts create feelings, and feelings are expressed by words and actions. When toxic thoughts penetrate our mind, we must learn to ask the question “What is God’s truth about my life?” and invite God into our thought pattern through the power of His Word. Satan wants a wounded person to define self by the painful pre-salvation events of life. God’s truth after salvation has the power to define who we are now in God.
We are a new creation in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17–21). The word new is defined as “unused, without blemish, novel.” No matter what happened to us before salvation (sexual abuse, emotional/physical abuse, promiscuity, divorce, abandonment, etc.), after salvation God has made us a brand-new creation in Him. In Christ Jesus there is no condemnation as we walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh (Romans 8:1–11).
In Mark 12:28–31, Jesus spoke of what is called the “great commandment,” which says we are to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Our heart, soul, and mind are the inner self where we think about life and make decisions and choices (the brain is the computer processor). The Greek definitions of heart, soul, and mind overlap each other. To live godly, we must process our thoughts through God’s truth that we learn from the Word of God. When our thoughts become godly, our feelings and actions will become godly. Our strength is our body, which belongs to God. We are to glorify God in our body and spirit (I Corinthians 6:18–20).
Love Others and Ourselves
We must choose to love self as God loves us with His unconditional love. This is the process of replacing toxic thoughts with God’s truth.
The second part of the great commandment is to love others as we love ourselves. Many people who receive salvation do not love who they are because of their past. We may even struggle accepting God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into our heart because our toxic thinking regarding our past still bombards us daily. People often need help with how to surrender to the teachings of God’s truth. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23–26). Our past is under the blood through the power of salvation. God remembers our sins no longer. We must choose to love self as God loves us with His unconditional love. This is the process of replacing toxic thoughts with God’s truth.
I have counseled people who attempted suicide after salvation because of their toxic definition of self from their horrible experiences of life. All were transformed and spiritually and emotionally healed by God’s truth. One psychiatrist told me, “We medicate these people and give them coping skills.” I shared with her that God has the power to transform lives by renewing the mind with His truth (Romans 12:1–2). Her response was, “I’ve never heard of that type of therapy.” God’s Word is therapy to our heart, soul, and mind!
When we replace toxic thoughts with God’s positive truth, it transforms our heart, soul, and mind, including physical healing to the brain. Brain scientists have proven that negative thoughts and words create “blackness” in the brain. They have also proven that positive thoughts and words create new connectors and the brain “lights up.”
God, our great Creator, is our healer! As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). The way we think affects our physical brain and body as well as our heart, soul, and mind or “the spirit man.” We can be saved but still have a wounded spirit from the pain of our past. When we allow God’s truth to penetrate our heart, soul, and mind, we can be transformed and set free—it is a process (John 8:32).
Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor and Bible teacher.
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Lifeline volume I and volume II – As a pastor, have you ever experienced the frustration of not knowing what to say when working with a family going through a divorce or someone with a substance abuse problem? Have you wondered whether providing ongoing teaching on topics of crisis would help to prevent some of these difficulties? These Lifeline lessons can help. Other topics include money problems, anger management, and depression.