Have you ever taken the time to think about your thinking? Does your mind tend to drift toward negative thinking, or are you more of an optimist? Admittedly, I can be a worst-case scenario kind of gal; armed with the smallest hint of bad news, I’ve already mentally rehearsed some of the terrible things that could possibly happen. Left unchecked, my mind naturally drifts in this direction.
Thankfully, the Bible challenges us to be very intentional and deliberate about our thinking, rather than simply embracing the “drift”. Consider:
That’s quite a list, isn’t it?
After all, it’s not like the Lord is telling us to imagine that things will simply be okay. God isn’t saying, “Ponder neutral thoughts.”
Rather, the Holy Spirit is encouraging us contemplate great things – things that we are only able to accomplish with His divine power and presence.
So, the next time I’m feeling down, I’m going to try working through this list and see if my thoughts begin to change. The way I see it, it’s simply a matter of answering a series of key questions:
- What is true?
- What is honorable?
- What is just?
- What is pure?
- What is lovely?
- What is commendable
- What is excellent?
- What is worthy of praise?
- What am I thinking about now?
Think about these things. Hmm. This doesn’t sound like much of a suggestion, does it? More like a direct instruction of command. Perhaps we have more authority over our thought life then we may have at first realized! And if you don’t believe me, take a moment to read the two verses (Philippians 4:6-7) that immediately precede this passage of Scripture.
Our thoughts are powerful, and right thinking truly can change our lives.
Dear God, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to embrace right thinking. The next time I’m feeling low, remind me to work through this list from Philippians 4:8 and invite You to change the way I think.
Thank You for this reminder that right thinking is available to me at any time, but it does require some effort on my part. Of course, I’m sure there will be days when my thinking drifts back to where it was before, but when that happens, kindly bring this verse to the forefront of my mind. In Your name I pray, Amen.