11th March 2023

Like herding cats

The phrase “herding cats” conjures up images of a task both funny and frustrating at the same time. It’s used to describe an impossible mission that isn’t even worth trying to accomplish. I thought of this when reading 2 Corinthians 10:5, which tells us we are to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. While it’s almost impossible to train cats to be obedient, Paul seems to think our thoughts can be made obedient to Jesus. 

As with most habits we want to change (and our thought patterns can certainly become habitual), I find we must first become aware of what we’re doing or not doing. Since everything in the life of a Christian is done in partnership with the Holy Spirit, we need to ask him to give us heightened awareness of how we think, what we think about and how our thoughts may be leading us astray. Next, it’s helpful to memorize verses that can help us turn our thoughts around. With greater awareness and scripture at the ready, we can then, in step with the Holy Spirit, begin to, as The Passion Translation puts it, “capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.”

When we realize we’re letting our thoughts go in a negative direction, we might picture them – not as willful cats – but as runaway sheep who need only to hear the voice of their Shepherd to lead them back into the pen. They’ll still get out from time to time, but we can bring those thoughts captive as long as we are paying attention and using the “crook” of scripture to rein them in.

Study by Tammy Tkach


First published on 21 February 2023, at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com

About the writer:
Tammy Tkach is the Assistant Pastor of the Eugene, Oregon, USA congregation. She is a speaker and writer, and publishes a blog at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com  

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