Stress is rooted in worry. Worry occurs in our minds or thoughts. Negative thoughts are toxic thoughts. What we need are positive thoughts. We need to kick the bad thoughts out and bring the good thoughts in.

woman with hands on ears and two different faces looking towards either side of her head

Toxic thoughts are harmful, detrimental, destructive, injurious or damaging. They cause us to feel sick, weak, frail, run-down, overwhelmed, afraid and fearful. They begin from the half-truths Satan loves to throw at us. These are lies he tries to carefully conceal.

The evil one especially likes to throw toxic thoughts our way when we are getting some momentum towards working with God to manage the stressors in our lives and get a handle on our healthy eating journey.

The devil is smart. He knows we have conquered one area and we’re doing really well there so now he throws something at us to sidetrack us—an issue, an injury, a busy season, an illness of a loved one, financial woes, time constraints, obligations or assignments we feel we just can’t say no to. 

What Evil Makes Us Think

We had started thinking healthy thoughts that are new, transformed, redeemed, fit, sound, well, whole, hearty, robust, tough, active, lively, vigorous, thriving, prosperous and good. This makes the evil one mad so he tries to side-track us and throw us off with toxic thinking.

Toxic thinking can be anything that leads away from what God wants for us. The evil one starts with thoughts that have an element of truth in them. One of those includes making us believe is that we don’t have enough time to get everything done we think we should be doing.

The truth lies in the fact that we think we are trying to do too much and are stressed because we can’t get it all done.

Another lie that seems true is that we don’t have a choice. We know this isn’t true because God always gives us a choice. The problem is we have once again heaped so much on ourselves that we feel like we have to do everything. We don’t have a choice but to fill our schedule to the max, work several jobs to pay the bills, do all the Mom things and wife things and it just gets overwhelming.

Another thought evil throws our way is that life has just dealt us a bad hand. The problem with this is we still try to keep trudging ahead and not letting anyone know we need help. We just bluff our way through life.

When we keep playing the game of life by trying to predict what will happen, what the next blow will be to take us out of the game, planning our poker face, continuing to belly up to the card table of stress and anxiety and wondering what will happen next, we set ourselves up for the downfall that will surely occur unless we quietly fold and walk away from the table with our heads held high.

Prescription for Healthy Thoughts

The Apostle Paul gave Timothy a great prescription for healthy thoughts in ​2 Timothy 1:7 AMP. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline, abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control.”  

When we overload ourselves with to-do lists and agendas and oughts and shoulds and musts we are not trusting an all-powerful God to intervene on our behalf. Why should He? We are fulfilling our own prayers and if we do that then we have zero trust in God. We have begun to live from toxic thoughts which are designed to overwhelm us and steal our power from us.

We must allow God to renew our minds by taking the unhealthy thoughts captive and putting the healthy thoughts in their place. This is really the meaning of ​2 Cor. 10:5​ when it talks about taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

We corral the negative thoughts. When they enter our minds we immediately identify them. I like to think of it as putting an electric fence around those thoughts. If I go there, if I start trying to accept them into my life they can be deadly.

If we have negative toxic or poisonous thoughts, we need to capture them and convert them to positive, life-giving thoughts that will bring about Godly changes in our outlooks and our goals for each and every moment of every day.

For more on this topic, check out podcast episode 77, Replacing Toxic Thoughts HERE. Also don’t miss the free Eating Stress course HERE.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach, podcaster and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013.

Her books include: "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor"; "Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds"; "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy"; "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help": "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation"; and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, more information on both is available under the weight loss tab. Don't miss her weekly podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, where she shares tips from her personal journey of losing weight and discovering healthy living. Find that under the podcast tab and anywhere you find podcasts.