How To Combat Intrusive Thoughts Biblically by David Lee Chu Sarchet
Intrusive thoughts is a common phenomenon that affects most people. But a lot of people do not know how to deal with them effectively. There are tons of advice out there concerning this topic, but I have found most of the advice to be severely lacking in substance.
In this blog, I will attempt to explain how I deal with my intrusive thoughts. My hope is that this will help you too. I don’t want to fall into the same trap of lacking substance though so I think it would be helpful if I defined exactly what it is I am addressing first.
According to The OCD & Anxiety Center, an intrusive thought are,
“Unwanted thoughts, images, impulses, or urges that can occur spontaneously or that can be cued by external/internal stimuli”
I Would Like To Share Exactly What My Thoughts Are
I also frequently hear voices that tell me similar things and I use the same tactics to help me combat them as well.
- The first thing that my intrusive thoughts tell me is that I am God and that people are worshiping and praying to me.
- The second thing my intrusive thoughts and voices tell me is that I need to cut myself. While I have not cut myself anymore these days, I did used to cut myself frequently in my younger years.
- The third thing that my voices and intrusive thoughts tell me is that I need to hurt people. They are constantly telling me to punch or slap people in the face.
- The final thing that my intrusive thoughts and voices tell me is that I need to think negatively about my physical appearance.
The most important lesson I want you to take away from this is that it is perfectly normal to deal with intrusive thoughts. The reason that this is important is because many people think they are “freaks of nature” because of their thoughts, but it is in actuality completely natural.
Everyone deals with these from time to time and if anyone claims that they do not then they are lying.
The first text that I would like to share with you that talks about how to deal with intrusive thoughts comes from Philippians 4:6-8 which says,
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything (every circumstance and situation) by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, continue to make your (specific) requests known to God. And the peace of God (that peace that reassures the heart, that peace) which transcends all understanding, (that peace which) stands guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus is yours. Finally believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy, of respect, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them and implant them in your heart).”
The most obvious take away from this text is that each thought we have we should always take it to God in prayer.Tweet
This may seem like a daunting task but then again we are told to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. For example, whenever a thought or voice comes to my mind telling me that I am God, I remind myself of what Scripture says who God truly is. Sometimes I may even have to remove myself from the situation that is triggering those thoughts and voices.
The second obvious solution that the Apostle Paul gives us:
We need to replace the thought with a more positive thought.
For example, when my voices and thoughts tell me something negative about my physical appearance, I need to remind myself of something that is good about my appearance. It also helps me to remember that the word of God tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made because I was created in the image and likeness of the infinite and holy God Himself.
Also, if a voice or thought tells me to hurt someone, then I need to remind myself that that person is also made in God’s image and thus they are worthy of the utmost dignity and respect.
Like I said already, I understand that this sounds like it is hard work, and it is difficult. I am not going to lie to you and say this is easy and there will be times that you will fail. However, whenever you do fail there is grace because of who we are in Christ.
As Romans 8:1 tells us,
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus”