As a parent, I’ve become expert at many things by sheer necessity. Some things I never expected would be part of my job description. And some things I never wanted to add to the list. Like nit-picking. And I’m not talking about an overtly excessive form of criticism.
When I found out one of my kids (the one with a lot of hair) had contracted head lice from summer camp, I knew I’d be in for at least a week of hard labor. I’d been told that the miniscule squatters don’t typically gravitate to coarse, coily-curly hair, but apparently my kid was part of the .3% non-typical demographic. At the end of the ordeal, I’d clocked a full 24-hour day plus of examining, treating, separating, combing, and re-examining, and was prepared for weeks ahead of frequent preventative measures.
There’s no being lazy about it when your kid has head lice. If one small nit survives, the threat of re-infestation prevails. Every corner of my house was vacuumed, every piece of affected clothing laundered. Even precious stuffed animals were stored away in tightly closed bags for at least a couple weeks to ward of further threats. And I now know every detail of homeopathic head care I could find.
I apologize if all this is too much information, and I’ll spare you further details. But there’s something to be learned from everything, and I always like to share what I’ve learned…the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I’d like to think writing about something so drudgerous (yes, I think I invented that word) could maybe redeem the hours spent on the tedious task for something worthwhile.
Combing through my kid’s endlessly thick hair minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day…I had a lot of time to think. And one scripture verse kept coming to mind: “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” Just as I had to take captive every tiny nit due to its potential to terrorize my child’s head, I have to take captive my every thought. One small thought can yield a reign of terror in my mind…and life. And it can transfer to those I’m close to.
It might sound scary to submit your thought-life to Christ, but it’s not so scary when we know that he wants us to fill our mind with GOOD things.
The Bible says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” So taking my ignoble, unrighteous, impure, unlovely and unworthy thoughts and making them obedient to Christ is not only necessary, it’s good! And it’s survival.
Who can live with bitterness, rage, malice, and hatred reigning in their minds? Who can survive when evil rules over every thought? It’s not only a danger to our own mental health, but to everyone we know and love. Even the innocent bystander is not immune.
EVERY thought must be held captive and made obedient to that which is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Each day, we must stand on alert, combing through our minds for any thought that can take us off course. Our lives depend on it.