I have been reading a 40 day email devotional from Explore God and thought the one from yesterday was worth sharing.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
We all know the annoying power of a song that gets stuck in our heads. We can’t seem to get rid of it, no matter how hard we try. It plays over and over in our minds throughout the day.
Have you ever experienced the same thing with a pattern of negative thoughts that repeats continuously in your head? Anger. Jealousy. Self-hatred. Despair. We can all fall prey to destructive thinking patterns.
Today’s verse reminds us that we can choose what we think about. We are encouraged to focus on thoughts that are true and excellent. When we choose to dwell on these types of positive thoughts, we gain the ability to push away habitual negative thoughts that can distract, discourage, and destroy. Over time, new and healthy thought patterns form and become the norm. As a result, we experience a true change in our outlook on life.
1. What are the potential benefits of replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts?
2. What specific negative thoughts do you need to replace today?
Copy Paul’s words in Philippians 4:8 on a piece of paper and place it somewhere where you will see it daily. Remind yourself to replace bad thoughts with good ones.
As suggested, I wrote the verse above down last night. It was sitting on the coffee table a while ago as I was watching the news in my hotel room when something hit me.
Why was I watching the news?
OK, I wasn’t wondering why I was watching the news in general, there is nothing wrong with keeping up with current events, sports, weather, and so forth. But, why did I make a conscious choice to watch cable news, talk of Hillary Clinton specificaly, when it would most certainly cause negative thoughts to play over and over in my mind all day?
Seriously. Why was I letting this vile and repulsive woman into my mind when she does nothing but infuriate me?
By the same respect, why do I still sometimes read the blogs of atheist scoffers who seem to live to ejaculate hatred on a faith they consistantly demonstrate they barely understand? How does this benefit me or my well being? How is this edifying? How does it honor God?
Why do I still have certain websites I used to frequent bookmarked? Do I, for some strange reason, need to feast on the patently absurd and mind-numbing when there are cleary better things to do with
my God’s time?
I am not naive enough to believe Christians can completely insulate themselves from the world and live in some sort of bubble. But I do believe we should spend more time on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…” and less time on everything else.
We are, after all, responsible for what gets stuck in our heads because, to a large degree anyway, we allow it to get there in the first place.
Think about the above questions for a minute and what thoughts you can replace.
This morning, I turned off the news, opened up The Word, and felt instantly better.