What does the Bible say about negative thoughts?

Have you ever wished you could turn off your brain? I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there. The battle of the mind is a daily thing! Negative thoughts can often come more naturally than positive thoughts. So, how do we make the leap from negative thoughts to positive thoughts? God in all His wisdom knew we would need direction on this topic. So, what does the Bible say about negative thoughts? Let’s dive in and see…

title- what does the bible say about negative thoughts?

Guard your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

The thoughts we think are powerful. So powerful, in fact, they impact our emotions and our actions. If I focus on negative things then I can expect to experience negative emotions, as a result. This is not to say that we deny the reality of challenging things we face. Nor, am I saying to pretend everything is good if it’s not. However, we do have a choice to find the good in our circumstances.

We have a choice to find the good in our circumstances. Sunshyne Gray

Just like in the movies – the director will shoot the same scene from different angles. Apply the same thing to our lives and the circumstances we face. We can look at the same situation from different angles, as well, making an intentional choice to highlight positive aspects. More on that later in this article.

Think About Such Things

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Think about such things! In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he tells us where to put our thoughts. I wonder if he was thinking of Proverbs 4:23? He knew how powerfully our thought life would impact us. When our thoughts impact us – they likely impact our relationships as well. What kind of an impact do you see negative thoughts having in your life?

Additionally, this verse most directly answers the question- what does the Bible say about negative thoughts? More specifically, it says what to think about. Rather than say, “don’t think negative thoughts”, think thoughts that are true, lovely, pure and delightful. We can only think one thing at a time. So choose what you will put your thoughts on!

Taking Thoughts Captive

For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

These verses outline exactly how we battle the mind! We do war with divine weapons when we battle of the mind – we must use prayer and Scripture in order to have victory. Negative thinking creates patterns in our brains. As a result, we naturally default to the negative. Whether your negative thoughts are related to yourself, others or the future – you’ve likely created a strong hold. A strong hold is a firmly held belief.

Does your “firmly held belief” line up with Scripture? If not – we tear it down and use Truth to replace it. That is how we take negative thoughts captive.

What do we put our thoughts on?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Three key points direct our thoughts: rejoice, pray, give thanks. Rejoicing is living in our calling to joy, not to negativity and hopelessness. We have a choice to choose to dwell on God‘s goodness, character and promises rather than on the things that are going wrong.

The second key point is prayer. Prayer is stepping into the throne room of God so that we may have immediate and constant contact with the Most High. It is one of the most powerful privileges as a child of God. When negative thoughts creep in- cast them on Him, because he cares for you.

The third and final point is, give thanks. Did you know that research shows that giving thanks reduces negativity, improving happiness by 25%? I love when science proves what God‘s Word has been saying all along. Giving thanks is a wonderful way to pivot away from negative thinking.

Fix Your Eyes on Christ

… And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1b-2

When we shift away from negative thoughts about our self, others or our circumstances and fix our eyes on Christ – negativity just fades away. Nothing replaces negativity with hope, like dwelling on the goodness of Christ, His sufficient grace and the depths of His love.

Wrapping it Up

What does the Bible say about negative thoughts?

We always have a choice as to where we put our thoughts. Just like choosing our actions, thoughts are also a choice. We must be intentional about what we dwell on. What we dwell on affects our emotion and actions. How will you be purposeful in training your brain to rejoice, pray and give thanks?


  1. Kay on January 15, 2022 at 6:35 am

    This was very helpful thank you.

    • Sunshyne on January 19, 2022 at 7:48 am

      So encouraging to hear it was a blessings- God is faithful!

  2. Pamela Gray on March 7, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    I love your teachings

    • Sunshyne Gray on April 25, 2022 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you, Pamela! I appreciate your encouraging words. God is always working!

  3. Karen on April 26, 2022 at 12:47 am

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write this!! It truly blessed and encouraged my heart! God bless you Sunshyne and your ministry!

  4. Kristal on September 1, 2022 at 6:59 am

    I disagree that I have a choice of every thought that comes into my head, yet I absolutely agree that I have a choice to either dwell on the thought or take it captive and bring it to obey Christ. I struggle with my thoughts constantly, yet I am learning more and more to cling to Christ.. I am SO hopeful to learn from your teachings!!

    • Sunshyne Gray on September 2, 2022 at 7:59 am

      Thank you for sharing, Kristal:) Blessings!

  5. Britt on April 12, 2023 at 7:22 am

    This was very helpful, thank you <3 In an existential anxious place with obsessive thoughts, I have a hard time coming to understand why a loving God would allow the negative thoughts at all, but I think that comes back to purpose in life, etc. Maybe another discussion.

  6. […] What Does the Bible Say About Negative Thoughts? […]

  7. Jean on July 30, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    Have you written anything about doubting the basics of your faith… things you have believed your whole life? It’s alarming!

  8. Don Harding on February 17, 2024 at 7:47 am

    Des Moines,Ia 1971—I was out of work due to a seasonal layoff. My wife and I were volunteering at the city rescue mission.Went by a church and Lana said, lets turn around and stop in. There wasnt very many in the service. We sat down in a pew about 4 rows back from the pulpit. As the song service ended a little old lady came in and stopped at the pew we were sitting in. In a rather harsh voice said, YOU ARE IN MY SEAT, PLEASE MOVE–We scooted over so she could have HER SEAT. During the preaching she leaned over with a folded up piece of paper and said, AND READ THIS WHEN YOU GET HOME. We are thinking more scolding for sitting in her seat. Got home and Lana said what did the lady give you. Took out the note and it was a check for 160.10. Confused we are thinking who was this lady and whats with the check. Being out of work and our house and car payment was due in a couple days. 100.00 for house and 60.00 for car. Lana said, Don we just had our bills paid for. I said why the 10 cents and she said have to mail them in and 2 stamps were 5 cents each, Hence 160.010 The Lord works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform d

  9. Lisa Choudhrie on February 18, 2024 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you Sunshyne, this is lovely, powerful, true, noble and so IMPORTANT. I suffer from GAD and depressive disorder and am on treatment as well as have learnt CBT. CBT tells us to think about what we are thinking and I know God is using my illness to teach me this important lesson for life. Thank you So Much.

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