The beauty of right thinking.
It’s important what we think about. If we’re not careful, our minds have the ability to wander astray. Sometimes we find ourselves in bondage to a specific mindset because of the very lack of discipline in our minds. I used to read the passage from Philippians 4:8 (NIV), 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, but I didn’t fully understand its meaning until recently. I thought it simply meant that we would do well to think about good things but this verse is not just giving advice, it is offering a God-given command that should mark our every thought. We need to keep our thinking pure but this doesn’t just have to do with immoral thoughts, but with thoughts about God, others, and ourselves. Having a pure mind doesn’t happen accidentally, we need to be actively seeking it in our daily lives. What are you thinking about during down times at work, when you’re driving, or when you have a free moment? The mind is always on to something and our flesh is never up to something good. Thoughts of jealousy, pride, unbelief are just a few of the whispers of the enemy and our own sinful nature. Only through striving in prayer at all times can we become purposeful in our thought life. So, what should we be thinking about? First of all, truth. The Bible is our only source of truth and the only weapon against the lies of the enemy or the traps of our flesh. Second, we should fix our mind on what is noble, or of high moral virtue. Third, think about what is right. We cannot discern what is right without aligning our desires to the will of God as described in His Word and through our communion with God in prayer. Fourth, our minds should be pure. Often, we think ourselves to be pure but we need to keep in mind that God’s standard of purity is above and beyond ours. Fifth, think lovely thoughts. God is everything beautiful and He wants to permeate our minds. Sixth, fix your mind on what is admirable. In a world that degrades by the second, we need to never forget to think about what is worthy of respect. The verse ends by telling us that if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, we should be thinking about it. Since I’ve become intentional about my thinking, God has empowered me to overcome toxic thinking little by little. Our souls will never find rest until our minds become pure. What peace and joy will be ours if we make these six things our focus!