Scripture Reflection

“and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Ephesians 4:27

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Devotion

The mind is a wonderful thing. If we're not on alert, it can also lead us astray and convince us to do things that are not good for us while talking us out of doing things that we should do.

Many battles are won and lost in our minds.

If you're going through a messy middle right now, we're going to take some time and identify some of the thoughts that are keeping you stuck.

Here's an important principle to understand: the mind wants comfort and is resistant to change

Anytime we try to push beyond our comfort zone (as is the case with weight loss), the mind tries desperately to get back to a place of comfort and certainty. It does not like ambiguity and is always seeking to make sense of uncertainty and discomfort.

Here are some of the games that your mind will trick you into believing:

"I can't do it." When things are hard, your mind will try to convince you that you can't do it.

"I'll just have one bite." The mind will try to rationalize why you should break your boundaries.

"I need to eat this to feel better." The mind will always try to minimize discomfort and seek pleasure-seeking behaviors to pacify itself.

"It's not my fault." The mind likes to deflect blame and not take responsibility.

"Life is meant to be enjoyed" The mind will try to justify why you should not abstain from certain foods.

"I deserve a reward/break." Again, your mind is trying to rationalize why you should break your boundaries. Know that every time you say this, you make it more difficult to adhere to your plan.

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The Word says, do not give the devil a foothold. Paul uses the example of anger, but it could be any negative emotion. It means don't give the enemy an opportunity to erect strongholds in your life. If you give him an inch, he will take a mile. How can you apply this principle to your journey?

The next time a thought pops into your head that could have negative consequences, don't even entertain it. It's a very slippery slope. Once you start to reason with your mind, it's often too late. The battle is already lost. Don't try to reason with your mind about whether or not you should eat the cookie. Change the conversation right away.

Know that you can control your mind—it does not have to control you so refuse to play its mind games.

Think about what you're thinking about. Give God thanks even in what you're going through.

Gratitude is a great way to take your mind off of your circumstances and direct them upwards to God.