90-96% of our thoughts are repetitive and generally negative, says writer Richard Rohr, citing psychological studies. We recycle our thoughts, allowing old tapes to play in our minds over and over again.
The oldest tapes are those from our childhood: “You’ll never amount to anything,” says the father. And that prophecy gets recorded and replayed for a lifetime.
We experience hurt and conclude, “Life will always be hard and disappointing,” and that tape plays whenever a new opportunity pops up. And as life progresses, we become captive of these thoughts, forever boxed in and defined by the repetitive loops in our head.
In effect, we don’t have thoughts, they have us! We were created in the very image of God with access through faith to his throne room and a life of miracles, but we are shackled by thoughts.
The Bible tells us to turn the tables, to take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). We need to stand outside ourselves and observe the thoughts as they play across the screen of our mind. When it is one of these looped, negative tapes from the past, we need to spot it and call it out. “Aha! That is not my thought. I refuse to think that particular thought again. I bring that thought under the authority of Jesus.”
The Bible talks about the renewing of our minds. It isn’t automatic. It needs our aggressive, even angry attention to push the “stop button” in our minds and keep the tapes from playing again.