Did you hear about the guy who had to stop going to football games? He thought that every time the players went into the huddle, they were gossiping about him.

Now that’s an extreme case of paranoia, but we all have to admit that we fight the urge to obsess about what others are thinking of us. Does my boss really like me? What does my mother-in-law think? Did my pastor really mean what he said, or is he trying to butter me up? Do my friends hang around me because they feel sorry for me, or because they genuinely enjoy my friendship? And the mind games continue.

But there really is a way out of all this. It is all about bringing every thought captive.

When our minds are focused and centered on Christ, those creeping suspicions suddenly vanish because our confidence isn’t in the opinions of people, but in God. And we also begin taking our eyes off of ourselves and our worries and placing them on the needs of others.

But it’s not a battle that will be won overnight. Daily we have to wake up and cleanse ourselves with the Word of God and with prayer. And throughout each day, we have to periodically lift up our hearts to God. It may be as simple as a silent prayer that asks, “God, please help me think Your thoughts today.”

Ask the Lord to help control your thinking today and help you avoid the unnecessary mind games that cripple your faith.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. — Solomon, Proverbs 23:7

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder