Think on these things
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8
I like to use this verse as a gauge to measure my thought life. I also like to connect it with 2 Corinthians 10:5 that says, “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” I equate “think on these things” to “casting down the imaginations.” I want to bring every thought into captivity with the good things listed in today’s scripture. This is truly evidence that we, as believers, not only have a choice of what we think about, but we have absolute control over our thought life. It just takes practice and determination and, of course, the help of the Holy Spirit.
So, what’s the secret? The key to leading your thoughts in the direction of success is choosing to think the opposite of an evil thought that comes into your mind. Think of each thought as a suggestion and you decide if you want to accept that suggestion and proceed down that way of thinking. Another part of the equation is to guard your mind by not letting the undesirable in. For example, if you battle with fear or anxiety, do not watch fearful movies or reports, especially things that are not even true. If you struggle with impurity, do not let impure and defiled images and thoughts continue, etc. You get the point.
Let me show you what I mean. The verse says to think on things noble, just, pure, lovely, and good report. It is quite a selection to choose from. When I have dishonoring thoughts I choose instead to think on noble/honoring things. When I have unfair or bias thoughts (judging and condemning) instead I think on just or gracious things. When I have impure thoughts, I recognize that it is time to change my thinking and when I think unloving thoughts, I fill my heart with thoughts of God’s unconditional love. When I’m faced with fearful thoughts or bad news, I turn to the good news of God’s Word.
Today I want to encourage you to take inventory of your thought life. Assess the thoughts and mindsets that need to be eliminated. These are easy to identify because they steal your peace. Spend time asking the Holy Spirit to empower you to take authority over the unwanted thoughts that come and replace them with thoughts directly from God. Thoughts that He gave you in His Word. Thoughts like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Peace of mind is priceless, and it only comes from the Prince of Peace!
Today’s scripture reading: Philippians 4:8-9