“A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE.”  I bet you remember this iconic slogan created by an advertising agency more than four decades ago to promote the United Negro College Fund scholarship program. I bring this up to make two points: our minds are like sponges and should not be taken for granted.

The mind is a gift. What we think about—and don’t think about—is serious business to God. Especially considering the mind can potentially store 100 million thoughts. This is why we must be choosy about what we do with our minds.

I’m sure you’ve heard it stated that we are a culture of overstimulated minds. I agree with this, but I also think we are a culture of extremes when it comes to our minds. We are most likely either overstimulated or on autopilot. You know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been driving and suddenly realize you’re almost home and you don’t even remember getting there? It’s kind of scary, actually.  There could have been an accident.

Our minds are so stimulated these days that we are desperate for respite.

Unfortunately, we don’t give our minds the kind of respite it truly craves. Instead, we allow it to become idle.

Idle : not working, active, or being used. not having any real purpose or value. not having much activity. lacking worth or basis.

Idleness means you have no particular goal in mind and thus you can be easily distracted. I think overstimulation has left us more susceptible to distraction. Sin is an easy distraction that begins in the mind. You don’t have to be doing anything or acting out in any way to sin. It comes so naturally that we don’t even realize it’s happening most times.

We tend to let our minds wander, thinking about whatever it wants. Our minds are a haven for sin— tucked back in the innermost parts where no one can see. It’s the perfect spot for those dirty pictures, movies, and past sexual experiences. Or how about those angry, jealous, prejudice, covetous and downright hateful thoughts? All of this can be going on while we engage in conversation, do our jobs, drive our cars, and tuck our children in bed at night.  

If the mind is a battlefield, an idle mind is the devil’s playground. It’s easy to allow ourselves to believe we aren’t in control of what we think since thoughts tend to fly in and out all day long—even while we sleep. But the truth is, we can have more control over our thoughts than we give credit to.

How To Control Your Thoughts

In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul challenges us to renew our minds. In Philippians 4:8, Paul also tells us the types of things to fix our minds upon. Second Corinthians 10:5 says to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”  Romans 8:6 says, “letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to light and peace.” And finally,  as Christ-followers the Bible tells us we have “the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

So, a Christian IS, in fact, able to control his/her thoughts through the power of the Holy Spirit! Allowing our minds to become idle means it’s not under Christ’s authority. This is why the Bible warns us to “stay alert” (Ephesians 6:18) and to fix our minds on godly things” (Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 26:3).

The Trouble With Idle Thoughts

The Bible gives us many disastrous results of a mind not fixed on godliness. But King David’s example is heartbreaking (2 Samuel 11). It all starts when David abandons his purpose by staying home from war. He allows his mind to become idle, leaving him open to temptation which eventually turns to sin when he takes another man’s wife. The sins continue to mount when the woman, Bathsheba, becomes pregnant. David tries to cover up the sin with deception. He then murders Bathsheba’s husband. Eventually, his many sins are exposed but the consequences were far-reaching. Not only does the baby die, but eventually his own sons rebel against him.

Indeed, the mind is a terrible thing to waste. So, let’s not waste it by allowing dangerous idle thoughts to have control. We’ve got the power to take charge of our thought life by living in submission to Christ. And prayer is the best place to begin.

Prayer: Father God, I don’t want my sinful nature to control my thoughts. I realize that idle thoughts can easily lead to sin. Your Words says if I allow the Spirit to control of my mind it leads to light and peace. I take captive thoughts like_______(fill in the blank) and bring them into submission to Christ Jesus right now. When sinful thoughts come in, I will continue to submit them to you and then fix my mind on Your promises and things that are good and worthy of praise.


“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” 

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  1. Thank you, Beckie! A good and timely word as our family heads into summer break. I appreciate your distinction between idleness/distraction and respite. It is so important to be discerning in how we use our “down time.” Hope you are having a lovely summer!


  2. As poets and writers, our minds observe, create, and invent, which can sometimes work against us! As Christians who want the mind of Christ, we have an obligation to our readers and ourselves to know God’s Word really well. The variety of translations available to us give us the Bible in words we can hear and receive, so I pray that everyone who reads this finds an edition that speaks to them. May we keep on reading and receiving the mind of the Lord in our minds and hearts and in all we write in Jesus’ Name.


    1. Mary, Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement regarding the Word of God and the availability of translations nowadays. This gives me an opportunity to point something out to readers.
      You will notice that each scripture reference is from A reader can click on the highlighted scripture within the post and be taken directly to the site. Once on the site, they can choose a variety of translations. The option is in the right corner of the scripture bar. There are also great commentaries and other wonderful reference tools available on BibleGatway.
      I do not profess to be a theologian. However, I am, and will always be a student of God’s word—contiually awed and amazed how God can teach something new even within a very familiar passage. His word is indeed ALIVE!
      Many blessings,


  3. My mind is rarely idle–I keep it so busy it never rests. However, I think that’s the overstimulation you’re talking about. If I give myself too much to think about, I can never think deeply about any one thing. Thank you for this! Heather Bock


    1. Heather, Oh do I know what you’re talking about! That’s why I say we are a people desperate for respite, but looking in the wrong places. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Praying God gives you clarity in your thoughts as you seek Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this Beckie. Thank you. I’ve been in a very personal crisis this past year. The scripture that has kept me steadfast is Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, just, pure, lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things … and the God of peace will be with you.” Focusing our thoughts on the things of God keeps us focused on Him.


    1. Nan, I’m sorry you’ve been going through a rough patch. However, I’m happy that God has brought you comfort through His Word. I’m also honored to have even a small part of being used to encourage others. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I’m praying that God will use this time to grow you stronger and closer to Him and use the trial to help others. Blessings!


  5. Great thoughts. It’s so important to take our thoughts captive and keep our minds fixed on Christ. We are what we think, and our thought patterns determine the direction of our lives. Good word!


    1. Yes, Leigh! I love this quote by Vicki Arruda: “We act out what we believe, not what we know.” Our thought life is of utmost importance to God. Thanks for commenting. Blessings!


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