Reactive & Proactive Thinking

“take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians10v5 (NIV)

Sometimes, maybe even often, ‘feelings’ are talked about as if they are disconnected from our ‘thoughts’. Statements like ‘should I follow my head or my heart’ for example. Other times actions are talked about as if they are at the mercy of our feelings, e.g. ‘I couldn’t help doing it’.

I don’t think (or feel) this is true, thoughts and feelings are intricately connected. In-fact a feeling is a deep thought, a deep-rooted thought, that has taken up residence in the heart via the mind.

A feeling is a thought we are convinced of, a feeling is a thought we believe! A thought so deep we just feel it, even when we don’t recognise that we think this way; but we feel it, because we think it! Our feelings may be right or wrong, or a mixer of the two, but we feel it because we really believe what we think!

We could call this our re-active thoughts. We hear, see, experience something and react a certain way, because our deep, automatic thinking or perception kicks in. However, our reactive thinking is not permanently set, if our thoughts, perceptions, and therefore feelings are out of place, we are not trapped in these! We can take a step back, and consider, and analyse, and re-jig our thinking and so to our feelings.

We could call this pro-active thinking. We can sift out the truth from the lies in our own minds & hearts, changing what we think and so how we feel. Building truth into our re-active thinking and feeling. This is a process which takes time, but I can bear witness to its impact in my own life!

Our feelings are not disconnected from what we think, they reveal what we really think. So, working back from them and through them, we can unpick falsehood and build in truth, that brings true change and life!

This applies to the unbeliever to a degree or level, but is fundamentally & decisively limited by the fallen nature. However, the Christian has been spiritually reborn (John 1v13), they have a new nature & power underneath their mind and heart, so can “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”, increasingly experiencing true freedom and change.