Editor's note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Craig Groeschel's new book, Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World (Zondervan, 2012).

You wouldn’t intentionally eat or drink poison that could harm or destroy your body. Yet you may be consuming poison that’s hazardous to your soul without even realizing it.

Toxic attitudes, behaviors, and cultural influences that you allow into your life put your soul in danger. You can’t avoid contact with such toxins in this fallen world, but you don’t have to be contaminated by them. You can detoxify your soul and start experiencing the pure life that God wants you to enjoy. Here’s how:

Realize that everything counts. Absolutely everything that you allow into your mind and life has on impact on how you grow or don’t grow spiritually. The little choices that you make every day add up to a significant effect on your soul. So take your everyday decisions seriously.

Identify the lies that have deceived you, and replace them with the truth. Examine your life for toxic: behaviors (what you do that harms your spiritual effectiveness or distracts you from God’s purposes for your life), emotions (feelings that lead you away from God’s truth), and consumptions (media you consume and people you spend time with). Ask God to give you the wisdom you need to discern which of all of those are toxic to you.

Clean up your thoughts. Since spiritual battles are ultimately either won or lost in the mind, it’s crucial to pay attention to what thoughts you focus on. Your thoughts shape what kind of person you become. If you think unhealthy thoughts, you’ll become an unhealthy person. But if you think healthy thoughts that reflect God’s truth, you’ll become more like Jesus, as God intends you to become. Regularly pray for the ability to view the situations you encounter as God sees them so you can have the right perspective on them. Every day, ask God to show you which thoughts that enter your mind are unholy and displeasing to Him. Whenever you identify wrong thoughts, take action to replace them with right ones. Choose to focus only on thoughts about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Spend time meditating on God’s wonderful qualities; the more you think about God, the more peace will enter your mind.

Choose positive words and avoid negative words. Recognize the incredible power of words to bring about either good or evil. Positive words create and heal, while negative words harm and destroy. So throughout each day when you’re speaking or writing, choose to communicate positive words to others as much as possible. When you hear the words that other people communicate to you, carefully analyze them to determine whether or not they actually reflect what’s true – and if so, embrace them, but if not, reject them. Pay attention to your self-talk as well, and ask God to help you say positive words to yourself in your mind.

Uncover your hidden sins. No sin is ever hidden from God, no matter how much you may deny it in your life or try to hide it from other people. God knows all of your sins and chooses to love you anyway, and He is always hoping that you will confess and repent of your sins so you can keep growing spiritually. So regularly confess your sins (to God and other Christians) and repent of them so you can receive forgiveness and healing.

Dig up bitter roots from your soul. When you allow bitterness to take root in your soul, it poisons you and blocks you from experiencing the grace God wants to give you. So get rid of bitterness by following God’s command to forgive people who have hurt you. You can rely on the strength that God will give you to forgive.