Finally, brothers, 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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
The message is pretty clear here: take your thoughts captive. Paul is telling the Church in Ephesus to think about all things good. Now you may be thinking, "yeah Paul, sounds good. But controlling your thoughts is way easier said than done". You'd be right - but it's not impossible.
Taking our thoughts captive is an important step in becoming more like Christ. We are the only ones who can control the thoughts in our own minds, so we should want them to align with those of the Lord. It is extremely easy to let our minds wander into the 'what ifs,' 'the could be,' and just the darkness or lust of this earthly life. Once we start to align our hearts and our thoughts with those of Christ, we can begin to see the world as He does and experience it in a brand new way. We are called to love, even in the deepest parts of our minds and our hearts. There is peace to be found when we give up our thoughts to Jesus and allow Him to shape the way we think about Him, others, and ourselves.
Aligning our hearts and minds with God's is a step toward loving more freely and deeply. When we are not bound by our own thoughts that can be condemning, unjust, or lustful, we begin to live our lives in a way that honors those around us and ultimately the Lord. There is grace when it comes to taking our thoughts captive, because it is not always easy, especially when we've been conditioned by this world. We have been given the gift of asking Jesus to partner with us in shaping the way that we think, and it can be a life changing step towards freedom from so many things.
I ask that you would filter my thoughts and align them with your own. Would you teach me to live and love more freely by shaping my heart and mind like yours. You have called me out of darkness into marvelous light, and I want to honor you by seeing things the way that you do. When I start to slip back into my old patterns, would you bring me back to you. You are good, and I want to be more like you. I love you.