Recently a new friend shared this statement her father used to say to her: “Don’t resist, replace.”
When we find ourselves on the runaway train of negative thinking, rather than trying to stop the freight train through white-knuckle resistance, replacing those thoughts with God’s truth would be most effective. Don’t resist, replace.
When we find ourselves battling thoughts of anger, fear, anxiety, worry, bitterness, unkindness, etc., rather than resisting those thoughts, replacing those thoughts with God’s freeing truth would most effectively eradicate our negative and sinful thoughts.
This brings to mind a humorous vignette with Bob Newhart as a therapist and his client tells him of her fears to which he replies, “Stop it!” Everything she shared would elicit the same response from Newhart, “Stop it!” It is a funny clip and we laugh because we know it’s not that simple. If it was that simple who would need a therapist?
Trying to reign in our thoughts by telling ourselves to “stop it!” is just about as effective. It’s laughable. Resistance alone doesn’t work long term. Not only is replacement more effective, it honors God and brings Him glory.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
When we replace our negative and sinful thoughts with what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy – at least two things will happen.
1. We will stop thinking the negative/sinful thoughts (we can’t think two things simultaneously).
2. We will engage in the process of renewing our minds. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
So today when temptation comes to think wrong thoughts instead of resistance, replace them with truth. This will challenge us to insure we have a well-stocked arsenal of truth.
After serving 16 years full time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a Biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.