Where Do Our Thoughts Come From According to the Bible?


Our thoughts are a critical part of who we are. They influence our actions, speech, relationships, and every other aspect of our lives. As Christians, it’s important that we understand what the Bible teaches about the origin and nature of our thoughts.

This comprehensive blog post will examine key biblical passages that provide insight into where our thoughts come from. We’ll look at verses that discuss God’s role in shaping our thinking, as well as warnings about sources of thoughts that lead us astray. Understanding the source of our thought life is the first step toward bringing it under God’s control.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our thoughts originate from our sinful nature, the influence of Satan, the lies of the world, and God.
  • God created us with the ability to think, reason, and make choices. Our thoughts are shaped by our heart.
  • Satan seeks to fill our minds with lies and deception that lead us into sin.
  • The world promotes pattern of thinking opposed to God’s truth.
  • God renews our minds by the power of the Holy Spirit and transforms our thought patterns.
  • We have a responsibility to take every thought captive and align our thinking with Scripture.
pcfjkub5bes Where Do Our Thoughts Come From According to the Bible?

The Origin of Our Thoughts

Our Sinful Nature

The Bible teaches that one source of our thoughts is our innate sinful nature. When Adam and Eve sinned, human nature was corrupted with a propensity toward evil (Genesis 3). Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV) says:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”

Our natural inclination is to think sinful thoughts rather than godly ones. Jesus said in Matthew 15:19 (NKJV):

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

The heart refers to the inner person – the seat of our thoughts and will. Out of the heart come evil thoughts because our nature is bent toward sin.

Paul describes unbelievers in Ephesians 2:3 (NKJV) as those who walk “in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” Our fleshly nature desires sinful thoughts.

As Christians, we are given a new nature in Christ, but we still struggle with the remnants of sinful flesh (Romans 7:14-25). This internal conflict is why believers must wage war against sinful thoughts and put on the mind of Christ.

The Influence of Satan

The Bible reveals that Satan and his demonic forces are another source that tempts us and implants evil thoughts. Satan infiltrates our minds just as he did to Judas Iscariot. John 13:2 (NKJV) says, “The devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him.”

1 Chronicles 21:1 (NKJV) tells us that Satan incited David to take a census of Israel, which was sinful pride. Jesus said that Satan actively sows weeds among the good wheat – an analogy of his influence in our thought lives (Matthew 13:25,38-39).

Satan is described as scheming against believers and strategically shooting flaming arrows into our minds:

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16, NKJV)

These flaming arrows include deceptive thoughts, temptation, accusation, and doubt. Satan is constantly working to hijack our thought patterns and drag us into sin, just as he did with Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1-7; 2 Corinthians 11:3). We must be on guard against his lies and attacks.

The Lies of the World

A third source of corrupted thinking is the influence of the sinful world system. The world promotes philosophies, values, priorities, and thought patterns that are opposed to God and His truth.

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) warns us:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

1 John 2:15-16 (NKJV) admonishes:

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.”

The world is driven by fleshly lusts and pride. It shapes attitudes of materialism, greed, immorality, and independence from God. When our thinking aligns with the world, it leads to spiritual deception and death (James 1:14-15). The corrupt patterns of thought promoted by the world system are hostile to the mind of Christ we are called to develop.

The Mind of Christ

In contrast to these negative sources, God is the positive origin of righteous thoughts. When we are saved through Christ, the Holy Spirit begins the process of renovating our thought patterns.

Our Minds Are Renewed by the Holy Spirit

A key passage about this mental renewal is found in Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV):

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

The Holy Spirit works within us to transform our thinking. He guides us into truth, convicts us of sin, produces spiritual fruit, and conforms us to be more like Jesus. As we submit to Him, our minds are cleansed from wrong thinking and reprogrammed with godly thoughts.

Philippians 2:5 (NKJV) encourages us to develop the mind of Christ:

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Our minds must be totally renewed to think as Jesus did – obediently yielding to the Father and doing His will. This happens as we abide in Christ through the Spirit (John 15:1-8).

God Gave Us the Ability to Think

When God created mankind, He made us in His image with the capacity for thought, reason, creativity, and choice (Genesis 1:26-27). Our minds reflect the divine image, though imperfectly due to the Fall.

God could have made us like automatons with no independent will. But in His sovereign wisdom, He gave us minds with the freedom to choose. This makes us morally responsible agents.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV) illustrates this God-given ability to reason and choose:

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…”

Joshua challenges the Israelites to use their God-given thinking ability to make the right choice:

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15, NKJV)

Our thoughts originate from our God-designed minds. But because of sin, they are bent toward evil rather than good. God transforms our minds by the Spirit’s power so we can think right thoughts that honor Christ.

Our Thoughts Flow from Our Heart

Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) states a fundamental truth:

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Our thoughts originate in the heart, which the Bible considers the center of our being. It’s the source of our desires, knowledge, wisdom, emotions, discernment, and life itself (Proverbs 4:23). What fills our heart determines our thoughts and subsequent actions.

Jesus teaches, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45, NKJV)

David prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, NKJV) Our thought patterns improve when God purifies our heart and renews our spirit.

As believers, we must guard our hearts from corruption and fill them with God’s truth. This will positively impact our thinking:

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NKJV)

Our Responsibility for Our Thoughts

While many influences shape our thinking, the Bible makes it clear we are responsible for controlling our thoughts. We have a choice whether to take every thought captive and obey Christ.

We Must Take Every Thought Captive

Paul states that Christians have a duty to take control of our thinking rather than being passive:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NKJV)

Our minds are a battlefield. When we leave thoughts unchecked, we allow the enemy to gain footholds in our thinking. But God has given us spiritual weapons to wage war for mental purity. As we capture rebellious thoughts and subdue them, we bring our minds into subjection to Christ.

We Must Think On What is True, Noble, Right

Paul commands:

“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV)

We fulfill our responsibility when we intentionally focus our thoughts on righteousness. Truth, nobility, justice, purity, virtue – these should dominate our mental landscape. By meditating on godliness, we crowd out sinful ideation.

We Must Fix Our Minds On Christ and Scripture

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) promises:

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”

To control our thoughts, we must fix our minds on Christ through prayer, praise, Bible study, and obeying His Word. As Colossians 3:2 (NKJV) urges:

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Psalm 119 repeatedly highlights the blessings of saturating our minds with Scripture. Verses 97-105 describe the transformative power of God’s Word on our thinking:

“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies… I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (NKJV)

As we saturate our minds with God’s truth, we gain wisdom and discernment to reject lies and think righteously. Our thought patterns are Purified as we pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and commit Scripture to memory.


Our thoughts originate from various influences including our sinful flesh, Satan, the world’s system, and God. While negative forces try to corrupt our minds, the Holy Spirit works to renew our thought patterns according to biblical truth. As believers, we have a responsibility to control our thinking by taking every thought captive, focusing on what is righteous, and filling our minds with Christ and the Word. Developing a Christian mind that pleases God requires vigilant effort, but the spiritual rewards are eternally worth it. Only when our minds are transformed can we live in victory as followers of Jesus.

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