Funny how God can use a Facebook status to remind me of a verse & a principle.
Often we can be made to feel like we are not good enough. A comment is said to us & we absorb that deep into our hearts & minds as if it is truth & we allow it to derail us for the entire day. For the entire week. For the entire month. Perhaps longer. We dwell on the comment, we allow it to marinate our souls, we let it fester until it oozes out onto everything in the course of our day. And before we go pointing a finger at someone for doing this – we have all been there & done that. Seriously.
Here’s the Scripture:
“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).
I think part of the problem is that we have heard this verse so often that we miss what it is truly saying. I know I have. So here are the two instructions we are given :
- “Fix your thoughts”. This means “to set firmly in the mind” (courtesy of Webster’s Dictionary). When something is set firmly, it is nailed down, secured, it isn’t moving. We need to nail down securely who we are IN CHRIST. In Christ, we are true & honorable & right & pure & lovely & admirable.
- Remember what to think about. Not everything is worthy of our expending time on it. May our thoughts fit the criteria. Ask, “Is this excellent & worthy of praise?”. If it is not, do not waste time & energy on it.
Paul, in writing this portion, gives us further instruction…
“Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.” (Philippians 4:9a NLT).
Did you catch it? We have to put this into practice. We must become deliberate about what we will allow our minds to think about all day long. It won’t come easily or naturally. We must put it into practice. That means we must do this repeatedly until we become proficient at thinking this way.
Paul, being the good teacher that he is, even tells us why we must do this:
“Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9b NLT).
His peace will begin to rule & reign in our minds & lives as we live by these instructions.