May 8, 2018
Philippians 4:8… Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This is a most interesting command from Paul. He doesn’t give a reason for doing this. The reward is in the doing. Have you ever noticed your tendency to think about the things that could go wrong or that are concerning you? I ask that, not because I can read your mind, but because it is human nature to do it.
It is a bit unnatural to do what Paul asks of us here. But, oh my, is it beneficial.
Try it. Think of something that you are hopeful about and dwell on it all day. Don’t dwell on the things that are coming against your hope, dwell on the hope.
If you are anticipating a raise, think about how great it is that you have a job. Thank God for how he has provided for you in every way. Tell Him how much you would like the raise and then think about something else. (Read verses 6 & 7) When I dwell on a problem, or a potential problem, I get anxious and even afraid. Neither of those emotions serves me well. And yet, I do it anyway… and regularly. It takes thoughtfulness and intention to think about what is good and pure. Perhaps you have a friend who just got a raise. Dwell on that. Perhaps you know someone who was sick but just recovered. Dwell on that. When I do, I am filling my mind with joy and peace instead of anxiety and fear. My psyche does much better with peace and joy. My attitude does better.
Parents face the problem of attitude in teenagers. We would like to fix it, but something about those years of development is contrary to blessed thoughts. Attitude is a result of thoughts. We put on a face that shows our thoughts. Generally, we notice attitudes that reflect unhappiness. Teens want to tell everyone that they are unhappy. Or at least it seems that way. They might just want an honest conversation about how difficult life is. Prior to that conversation, think about things that are honorable, and pure, and commendable. Let your attitude challenge theirs. Not as a confrontation but as a way to look at life. Redirect without confrontation.