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what you think about reveals not only what you love, but also who you are

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 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. (Philippians 4:8)

 

Look at a person’s planner and you’ll see their priorities. Look at their checkbook and you’ll see what they treasure. If you look at what they think about and what they let their minds continually dwell on, you’ll quickly discover the status of their soul. There are so many self-help books on the shelves about lies women tell themselves, men tell themselves, and the lies hidden in the human mind. And, these books will tell you that what you think about reveals not only what you love, but also who you are. It’s no surprise that intentional thinking is critical to a life well-lived.

Paul certainly agrees. He knows the power his mind has over him and the power he has over his mind. He exhorts his readers to think about the obviously good things – to think on the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy. He believes thinking can change the tapes playing in his mind. As Paul sits in the Roman jail, he has so much time to think. Yet, there is not one hint of self-pity in his letter to the Philippians. The entire letter exudes joy and encouragement to rise above the circumstances and lift his thoughts to the King of Kings. This letter reveals it is well with Paul’s soul.

You’ll also notice Paul repeats, “whatever” in this passage. He’s simply giving us freedom to think on anything that is excellent and praiseworthy. God’s list of true and commendable things is inexhaustible if one devotes time to count them. However, good thoughts don’t just happen, we must decide to think them. Over fourteen times in the Psalms, David mentions mediating on God’s statutes and His mighty deeds (i.e. Psalm 72:12). Paul urges Christians in Corinth to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and to take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paying attention to our thoughts, devoting time to pondering truth and taking out the mental garbage regularly will help align our mind with Christ’s. Today, take an inventory of the tapes playing in your mind. Write down some of the main trains of thought you tend to think and bring them to the Lord before you go to bed.

 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall meditate on it day and night,
so that you may be careful to do
according to all that is written in it.
For then you will make your way prosperous,
and then you will have good success.
-Joshua 1:8

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By Donna Burns and Yvonne Biel

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