I’ve never been captured by enemy soldiers or handcuffed by deputy sheriffs—but I was once surrounded and held at gun-point by eight Marines—after unintentionally driving down a restricted road on Camp Pendleton.
I climbed into my Toyota with three buddies, after shooting hoops at the gym. We headed for the guard gate—but I got turned around in the thick fog and went the wrong way.
I couldn’t see the large Restricted Area signs.
Suddenly, four military police trucks converged on my car. The Marines jumped out, raised their M16 rifles and ordered us to get down on the ground. They padded us down and searched the car for weapons. Then, they called my Dad.
Once I knew the Marines weren’t going to arrest and throw us into the brig, my heart stopped pounding. I relaxed. But I got anxious again when I realized Dad would probably get chewed out by his boss for my mistake—and then he’d probably ground me and take away the car keys.
My thoughts ran wild.
The Bible says, “Take captive every thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Not some thoughts. Not most thoughts. We’re commanded to capture every thought—immediately and decisively.
We must stop and arrest every thought. Handcuff it. Put it in leg-irons. Why? We capture every thought so we can examine it—and determine if we should keep or escort it from our mind.
We must interrogate every thought within the search light of God’s Word—before we continue to think or decide to act on it. We square it with what the Bible says. Then, we identify it as a friend or foe and handle it appropriately.
That’s God’s strategy for guarding our minds. Thinking true thoughts. Keeping good attitudes. Choosing wholesome words. Tossing junky thoughts.
It’s what I call “first-frame” thinking. It’s like reading a comic strip in the newspaper. We look at the first frame before moving to the second. Maybe we choose to read the entire cartoon. Maybe we don’t. But along the way, we make a decision on our next move.
That’s also how we choose to think correctly or corruptly—and why it’s so strategic for us to capture every thought in the first frame and hang onto only what’s true and pure.
Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
That’s a time-tested Biblical grid through which we can evaluate our thoughts and guard our minds. That’s also the sure foundation of “first-frame” thinking.
Let’s toss the junk—and think only the good stuff!