A study out of Canada provides concrete evidence why every believer needs to build a huge prison. The Daily Mail tells of a study conducted by Dr. Jordan Poppenk, who serves as Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, that concluded the average person has about 6,200 thoughts a day.
Dr. Poppenk and his research team had 184 people watch upwards of four video clips, while the research team used an MRI scan to monitor the blood flow in the participants’ brains.
Though the scan could not determine what each person was thinking, it was able to determine when a new thought pattern, described as a “thought worm,” emerged in a participant’s brain.
Based on this, the researchers concluded that a person averages about 6,200 thoughts a day. Though there has been speculation of how many thoughts we think in a day and as well a few unreliable studies involving people tracking their thoughts, this was the first study to provide a concrete number.
Thousands of thoughts pop into our mind every day. Many of them are sparked by what we are doing at the moment. This can include anxious and fearful thoughts triggered by alarming news media.
Based on what we are seeing or hearing, thoughts can also be triggered of things that happened in our past. They literally just pop into our mind. This can include thoughts condemning us for past sins and failures.
And this is why we need a big prison, because the Apostle Paul tells us that we need to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)
Every one of those 6,200 thoughts, that we typically average each day, needs to be thrown into prison.
This verse tells us that we have the ability, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to control our thought life.
And it’s not that we have a prison full of jail cells, there are a few holding cells as well, because not every thought is bad, some are harmless and some are actually good, and they can be released.
But there are a lot of thoughts that need a life sentence. If we make a mistake, many of us like to beat ourselves up for it. If you are like me, you may even go the next step and verbally say you are stupid. We need to stop this type of behaviour realizing this type of thinking is often influenced by how we were raised.
We also can’t stop a thought from popping into our mind because they are often caused by an outside trigger, but we don’t have to continue thinking about it and allow this “thought worm” to grow.
If a condemning thought floods your mind, you need to purposefully stop thinking about it. Better yet, when it shows up replace it by thinking about a Bible verse that counters the lie, such as “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
In Ephesians 6:17, the Apostle Paul urges us to put on the helmet of salvation, which along with the sword of the spirit, is the WORD OF GOD.
So use God’s word to take captive those anxious, condemning, belittling and even tempting thoughts that plague us.