Thoughts that Sting


which thoughts to

dwell on,


agree with,


Choose life.

God has been reclaiming the garden of my heart from an infestation of negative thoughts. I had no idea how many of the enemy’s lies I’d bought, nor how deeply they’d rooted. I’m so grateful that He loves me enough to confront me with the problem, and to forgive me when I acknowledged my part in letting them take hold.

Listen to the father of lies? Believe what he says? Why in the world would a person do that?

But he makes them sound so reasonable, and they attach to our fears and masquerade as truth. Maybe that’s how to discern the difference: does the thought seem to confirm my fears, stir my anxiety? Or does it resonate with my spirit? I really need to check each thought at the mental garden gate and ask for ID. Friend, or foe? Prove it. 

Wasps in a nest

Wasps’ nest. Photo credit: Janet Sketchley

Not long ago, I was outside in a quiet spot, pondering what I’m (still) learning. A wasp flew into my space, September-stupid and slow. Instead of retreating like I’d do in with an aggressive summer wasp, I shooed it away with my hand.

It came back; I shooed it again. After a few times, it went away.

In the stillness, it seemed like God was asking, “Did you get that?”

I think I did.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8, NLT*

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

12 thoughts on “Thoughts that Sting

  1. Heather

    It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one with wasps in my garden! Don’t think I’ve ever had a season of as much sifting when it comes to truth and discernment. I appreciate the lesson in this–sometimes we have to be fearless and persistent in protecting our personal space; in ‘guarding our hearts with all diligence.’

    1. Janet Sketchley

      Heather, I think these wasps are epidemic. You’re so right about the persistence and the need to protect. I pray in trust that your sifting season will build you stronger and equip you for God’s glory.

  2. Tammy

    Glad God used that wasp to speak to you. Those thoughts are almost like the nest itself, created piece by tiny piece , almost unseen. We may notice a wasp here and there. Then suddenly out of nowhere we notice a huge nest, full of things that sting us . We know it needs to be removed to protect us ! Although that can be very painful for a bit ( if not done carefully),

    I’m so excited to watch how God is moving in your life right now. It warms my heart 🙂

    Hugs, Tammy

    1. Janet Sketchley

      Mary, I don’t remember who it was who said we have a moment between stimulus and response, and in that moment we can choose. It’s so easy to forget that and to just react. I’m hoping to learn to stop and check the IDs.


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