Just Thinking (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 338)
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
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.
In life, we are always involved in a battle. Sometimes, it is a physical one — a real war between good people and bad people. Other times, it is an emotional battle, a spiritual battle, a mental battle. We have to fight to control ourselves, against our vices, our impulses, and our worst selves. We are engaged in a battle to discipline our behaviors, to focus on things that matter, and to think about positive and good things. In a way, we have to fight to be better, to do good, and to think positively because it’s always easier to do the opposite.
Controlling our mind is one of the biggest battles we’ll have to fight. Managing stress in our lives is another big battle we face. What we allow in our minds will determine how effectively we live our lives. Sometimes, when we are looking for ways in which to change our lives or overcome high levels of stress or deal with demanding situations, we tend to look for solutions on the outside. Usually, the really deep problems are not on the outside; they are on the inside and this is where God does his best work. What you put into your mind will have a positive or negative effect on your life.
Changing what you allow into your mind is no easy task. In fact, it can be a very difficult one especially when there are so many voices and noises and options of things for us to think on. But when we’re looking for clarity and direction in life and we want to decrease stress to a manageable level, we have to change what we think about. Scripture gives us a litmus test to filter our thoughts through. It tells us to, “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.”
When we take time to think about and focus on the things that are true and right, honorable and pure, love and admirable, and excellent and worthy of praise, we are opening up a different path upon which to build our lives when we choose to focus on those things that are good. It’s easy to focus on the negative but you don’t get anywhere when you do that. Negativity often leads to stress and feelings of depression and overwhelm. But when we control what we allow into our minds and pick and choose what we think about, God will keep us in the peace we long to have.
“If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.”
— Thomas Watson