The Freedom of Non-Toxic thoughts

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The Freedom of Non-Toxic thoughts

Recently, I was reading a very interesting book called “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf. According to Dr. Leaf, we have approximately 30,000 thoughts a day,  but the human brain does not have the capacity to filter them. In other words, whether the thought we have is toxic or healthy, if our will does not filter that thought (as false or true), it gets stored as truth.

From this book I also learned that if a person has a toxic thought, they have 29 seconds to filter that thought before the brain secretes a toxin. So God literally builds into the human body a penalty for bad thinking!

As a pastor, I see this toxic thinking played out in my office as I listen to people share thoughts about themselves, God, and others. The question I ask is, “Do you really believe that? “or “Where did that thought come from?”

It is amazing to me how bad our thinking can be, and the price we pay when that thinking goes horribly wrong. When I was a young Christ-follower, my youth pastor helped me to understand a very simple biblical truth: my thinking determines my behavior, which form my habits, and finally create my destiny.

For those of us who were raised in dysfunctional or abusive homes, we understand the price of such abuse. I remember, very vividly, comments my father and mother would make about me and the way it made me feel.

Habits formed out of that bad thinking. I exaggerated my achievements, lied about failures, pleased others to a fault and hurt myself and others. In my adulthood, I had to go back a contend against the messages I had heard and re-boot my thinking in order to change my behavior. It took years, but it was well worth the effort. Whether you grew up in a dysfunctional home, or you’re around toxic people, or you drift toward unhealthy thoughts – we all have to filter what our minds camp on.

It is no wonder that the Bible has so much to say about healthy thinking!

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Philippians 4:8) he writes: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think upon these things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

In his second letter to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 10:5) Paul again says: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.”

In Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae (Colossians 3:1), he reiterates: “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think upon the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”

These verses and others we see scattered throughout the Bible enforce this need for us to vigorously embrace truth, for as Jesus said in John 8:31, “And you will know my truth, and the truth will set you free.”

To truly live in freedom is not just about accepting Jesus Christ – it is about embracing the truth He proclaims. It is a vigilant effort to pursue truth, embrace truth, and live out the truth – in our hearts and minds, even where no one can see but us and God.

Q. How healthy are your thoughts about yourself, about others, about your God? What price have you paid for bad thinking?

Q. What would be the benefit if your thoughts were healthy and in line with the Word of God?

About The Author
Eric Heard
Eric Heard
Eric Heard is an experienced Marriage and Men’s Pastor at Mariners Church. His education includes a B.A. in Christian Education from Biola University, and a Master of Divinity from Talbot Seminary. His path to Christ began during his junior year in high school, after being raised in an atheistic home where his family never went to church. A year later, Eric’s youth pastor inspired him to start a junior high ministry. The rest is history! Since then, Eric has served in many important ministries, including 22 years as a junior high and high school pastor at Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton and 14 years as a Pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine where he presently oversees Stewardship, Men’s Ministry, Marriage Ministry, and the Theology program. Eric has been happily married to his wife, Debbie, for 32 years. Together, they have raised two awesome kids: 22-year-old Johnny and 21-year-old Crystal. Eric’s interests include reading, working out, gardening, eating great food, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends. When Eric isn’t playing weekend warrior he enjoys sports like volleyball, waterskiing, snow-boarding, and bodysurfing.
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  • Thomas Borboa
    June 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    i just had to laugh! at myself in the case of course! i thank God when He shows me how “horribly worng” mine own thinking is and how futile it is to try to use my own understanding in life. and how more appealing it is to be a “slave” to Him!

  • Trochia
    June 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Yes, Thomas Borboa. Sometimes I am truly disgusted with the thoughts that pop into my mind. But the Lord is quick to provide a biblical truth to refresh my mental screen. Praise God! ~living in freedom

  • Thomas Borboa
    June 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    oh1 yeah those kind of thoughts are troublesome. but it’s when i look to myself for answers or to reason my way through a circumstance for an outcome. Apostles would call themselves “bond servants” of Christ. in other words “slave”. “happy is the one who makes himself a slave to a perfect master” Anon

  • Irma Lubben
    June 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Overcoming with the renewing of our minds through Christ our Lord. Thank you, Lord!

  • Robert Rigsby
    June 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm


  • Vickie Mcdaniel
    June 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I’m reading a book from Beth Moore and she is talking about how we can take our thoughts captive to make them obbedient to Christ.

  • Bob Ducharme
    June 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm


  • Lois Boyd Campbell
    June 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I’m loving this link and every body’s responses as well. May God bless you all as we continue to allow Him to transform and heal our thoughts.

  • Lana Haight
    June 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    we can ALL use this, Thanks= in JESUS’ HOLY, & Precious, & Mighty NAME, GOD Bless You ALL!!! Amen!!!

  • Sheré
    June 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks Eric!! So great!

  • Jose Quinones
    June 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    god bless and AMEN

  • Rebecca Perez-Kline
    June 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Amen to that Lois. God Bless each and every one of you.

  • Eva Wilson
    June 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    thank you christ amen

  • Tina Goodwin
    June 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    help me Lord to fill my head with your thoughts and desire

  • Julie Glass
    June 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

    It comes from hearing and hearing and studying

  • Thomas Borboa
    June 13, 2012 at 10:52 am

    the article seemed to me to be a little to focused on the self. all thoughts that originate from self are toxic. other kinds the pastor describes are also generated by satan. obedience is impossible without believing. the people asked Jesus, “what must we do to do the works of God?” He said, “to believe in the One He sent”. unbelieving will lead to self and thus “toxic” thoughts! like Trochia said take the thought captive to the “obedience” of Christ! true freed comes from being obedient. try to tell that to the world LOL!

  • Thomas Wilson
    June 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

    The heart is desperately wicked; who can know it?

  • Joyce Lynn Berry
    June 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Jesus can set you free.

  • Kathleen
    June 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    YES. Can get very complex as we allow people into our lives. What about the supernatural happenings too. Signs that appear without a real thought process going on. Kathleen

  • Helen Bishop
    June 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm


  • Terri Lee
    June 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I’m just really having a really bad day. Like the writing above oour thinking will be the end of us.

  • Evangelist Roger Griffith
    June 14, 2012 at 3:09 am


  • Evangelist Roger Griffith
    June 14, 2012 at 3:10 am

    GOD’S PURE (W.O.R.D.”’) AMEN

  • Hope Renee
    June 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm


  • Paul W. Ayers
    June 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Amen and Amen..i shall try to keep this in a toxic environment has effect on the is much like our thought and emotion..when the enemies that come to steal cheat lie and destroy it is hard to combat..if we are Not in The WORD and Girded up With The Whole Armor of GOD we need The WORD OF GOD with Right Prayerful Thinking..Living..and Sharing…Loving Others just as JESUS LOVES Us…Toxic Enviroments Requires a Proper method of clean up..or it can spread to others..take Friable Asbestos for example..we can Not see it..but it is ever so present ..just as Sin in our lives or sins that we have been exposed to..we must clean it out and off of us..And Our HOLY BIBLE..such a Wonderful Living Book..Our Beloved JESUS CHRIST..and His Blood that Washes us As White as Snow

  • Antonio Parker
    June 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Yes but not to deny the real evil that does exist.It is a blessing to learn and to do our Gods word & will. Jesus thee Christ the Prince of peace & of War he is the son of Love aka the son of Father God. But the full body armor of Christ wow that is an amazing suit when you really get into serving Christ and the longer you keep it on, the more better you are against the attacks of the enemie.I love our God aka JESUS CHRIST & may he bless us all to do his will on earth as it is in Heaven. In JESUS the CHRIST name we pray & thank you AMEN.

  • Antonio Parker
    June 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Yes but not to deny the real evil that does exist.It is a blessing to learn and to do our Gods word & will. Jesus thee Christ the Prince of peace & of War he is the son of Love aka the son of Father God. But the full body armor of Christ wow that is an amazing suit when you really get into serving Christ and the longer you keep it on, the more better you are against the attacks of the enemie.I love our God aka JESUS CHRIST & may he bless us all to do his will on earth as it is in Heaven. In JESUS the CHRIST name we pray & thank you AMEN.

  • Lana Haight
    August 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Amen, THX & GBY ALL!!! in JESUS’ HOLY, & Precious, & Mighty NAME, Amen!!! Hallelujah!!!

  • Doylene Bonner
    August 21, 2012 at 9:22 am


  • Sharon Stuart
    August 21, 2012 at 9:27 am


  • Sherrie Thibeau
    August 21, 2012 at 9:30 am


  • Viola Ficklin
    August 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Thank you Jesus amen.

  • Cecilia Silvery
    August 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

    It’s a must read! Thank you for sharing this spiritual feast!

  • Pam Courtney Lanning
    August 21, 2012 at 10:54 am


  • Ajin Philip
    August 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

    human heart is a tricky thing…. it is from the heart that comes”toxic thought”…. It is the love of Jesus keeps us away and guard it….

  • Ajin Philip
    August 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

    And he giveth and restores my soul

  • Jacqueline Brophy-Cruz
    August 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I embraced and started to dance again! Love You God!

  • Betty Yerkes
    August 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm


  • Fatima Grullón
    September 8, 2012 at 6:51 am


  • Robert D. Montgomery
    September 8, 2012 at 7:21 am


  • John Frontera
    September 8, 2012 at 8:15 am


  • Patce Threlkeld
    September 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

    sharing ok hugs

  • Carmen Perez
    September 8, 2012 at 9:52 am

    so true also toxic company

  • Patsy McCracken
    September 8, 2012 at 10:12 am

    this is so true (I have been going through bad thoughts lately) and I turn to GOD to give me the strength to make them captive and make them obedient to CHRIST !!!

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