The Power of Thoughts…
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he addressed the very discipline of a man’s “thoughts.” Paul instructed the early church Christians to “think” on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, and praise worthy. Paul obviously knew “The Power of Thoughts!”
As we all know, every action we take begins with a “thought.” Every word we speak begins with a “thought.” Our never-ending 24/7 mind produces countless numbers of thoughts and images per minute! If you are like me, you can be pondering one thought when two more will suddenly pop in! Controlling “thoughts” is sometimes nearly impossible…So, to discipline ourselves to “think” upon those things which are lovely, honest, good, and true can be a challenge; especially in today’s society…Why?
Well, I’m certainly not an expert on the subject, but each day our society is bombarded with everything but “thoughts” that are lovely, pure, and good…For one thing, our non-stop secular news media does its very best to convince us all that being “good,” “decent,” and “pure” is old-fashioned, unpopular, ignorant, backwards, and unintelligent…After all, haven’t we become a man-eat-man society where only the fittest survive! If you don’t believe me, just look at the way our nation’s politicians run their campaigns! If you don’t have the stomach for slinging mud, putting a spin on everything, and believing that most Americans are dumb and stupid and cannot read between the lines then you would most likely NOT do well running for public office! VERY SAD!
Then, there are all the disgraceful reality TV shows that parade “stupid” like it is our nation’s number one commodity! Who (those of us 50 and older!) would have ever believed that untalented and grossly ugly men and women belching out perverse profanities as well as sickening burps and body gases would one day take the places of Andy, Barney, Lucy, and Ethel?!! Not to dare mention that finding a husband or wife would come down to choosing the love-of-your-life from last season’s rejects! (I had to shake my head and laugh at that one! Bless their hearts!)
So, where do we go to find “pure” and “lovely” thoughts in today’s world? Sadly, even our churches and immediate families have taken on a “competitive” spirit where it is more accepted to believe the “worse” in someone than to think upon the “good.” As a result, for those of us who wish for the “good” and “pure” thoughts in life, it has become like salmon swimming up-stream! The answer to “where do we go” lies within our own self-will, concepts, and choices…Choosing to “think” like the Apostle Paul instructed is a “choice” that can only be sustained and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God.
The very intelligent, highly educated Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about. He, too, lived in a sinful world filled with hypocrisies, jealousies, and sensationalized happenings and events. After all, he was in front-row attendance when one of the church’s very first deacons was seized and stoned to death for his powerful teachings of Jesus Christ…So, disciplining ourselves to “think” upon “these things” (pure, lovely, and of good report) is NOT new and has NEVER been easy…It is a choice!
Right now, like many of you, I have a dozen or more things that I could “choose” to think about in a critical, very sad, heart-broken, and detrimental way. I have foes just like anyone else; some in my own immediate family. It’s hard to not want to think “negatively” about these things and to slash out and seek revenge…I know…I have walked that path and it doesn’t help things one tiny bit; but it can make them worse!
As I get older, I am learning more and more everyday to “choose” to put it ALL in God’s hands and “think” upon those things that are “lovely” and of “good” report. Life is just too short not to follow Paul’s instructions… If not…I could just as easily go crazy as the next fellow! Ahhh….But, I am learning to “choose” the peaceful thoughts of things being “of good report” as I yield myself to God’s unseen hand.
So, for me, I believe that the ONLY way to “think” upon those things which are lovely and of good report is to put my complete trust, hope, and faith in Sovereign God and trust that “ALL” things are working together for the “good” of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
It’s not always easy to discipline our thoughts, but it’s always the “right” thing to do…Oh, my friend, The Power of Thoughts…
Remember, God Loves You! (A very lovely thought!)
Lin T. Rollins, Author
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