Finally, brothers, 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.
What you are and what you will become is a direct result of what goes into your mind. Proverbs 23:7 puts it this way “…as he thinks within himself, so he is…”
On our 30th wedding anniversary my wife and I determined to get away and selected Memphis as our destination. On the way, we stopped for a sandwich at a fast food restaurant. Soon after checking into our hotel, Janet complained that she was feeling sick. Shortly after I was struck by the same symptoms and for the next two days we stayed in the room, too sick to go anywhere or do anything. We were victims of food poisoning.
Sadly, many of us are poisoning our minds with garbage and junk. Legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar called it “stinkin’ thinkin’. Occasionally I run into a professing Christian who has some very bizarre views on Christianity. Their theology is mixed with astrology, New Age philosophy, and a variety of other ideas from a worldly buffet table. Such thinking is a distortion of God’s truth. Paul reminds us to keep our minds focused on “whatever is true.” The source of truth and measure of truth is Jesus Christ.
We should place high value on “whatever is noble.” That is to say that uppermost in our thoughts is the pursuit of superior morality and excellent character in which we refuse to allow trash and filth into our minds.
Our minds should be filled with “whatever is right.” It is right as defined by God. Paul is not talking about insisting on having our way…that we are always right…and everybody else is always wrong. He is talking about the “right” that defines godly character. It’s the thinking that says, “I want to get it right. I want to do right before God.” And when necessary, it is thinking that stands up for “right” even when the crowd is going in an opposite direction.
Paul also tells us we should fill our minds with “whatever is pure.” Be selective as to what you allow in your mind. When impure thoughts enter your mind replace them immediately with pure thoughts.
Then we are told to think on “whatever is lovely.” Do you spend your day dwelling on ugly and negative thoughts? You will ultimately become the picture that you are painting in your mind. When you sow negative thinking you will reap a negative outcome. Spare yourself a lot of misery and learn to look for the “lovely.” Look for the good in others and on the bright side of situations. The glass is half full…not half empty.
We are further exhorted to fill our minds with “whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.” Think on those things that are excellent in the eyes of God and worthy of respect of others.
So, what do you think about? What is it that occupies your mind? Are you selective about what you will allow into your mind? Guard your mind and set your standards high.
What are you going to think about today? “Oh, poor pitiful me” or “This is going to be a great day?” “I hate my job” or “I’m thankful for the opportunity?” “She gets on my last nerve” or “she probably could use a word of encouragement today?” “I give up” or “I’ve got God on my side and with His help I can make it.”
You can do much to improve your Christian walk and your quality of life by changing the way you think and what you think about.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Make Time to Serve Jesus Christ
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.