Our minds are able to focus on one thing at a time. One truth, one focus, one emotion, one event, etc... As I conclude this online series about our thinking, I want to leave you with a powerful & practical encouragement found in a letter written to a church in the first Century. It reads,
"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)
Fixing your thoughts means that you have the ability to choose what your mind focuses on. This is true whether it is positive, negative, scary, joyful, encouraging, or draining. Since we can choose, the teacher (Apostle Paul) gives us a helpful list of what to focus on. Your thoughts are like the dart. Paul is telling us to AIM WELL, and leaves us the pathway.
1. What is TRUE: So many focus on lies they have bought into about their identity, self-worth, future, and capacity. In order to discover what is true, I would strongly encourage you to make a list of what God says about your live, and over your life.
- I DECLARE God’s incredible blessings over my life because of Jesus.
- I DECLARE I will experience God’s faithfulness.
- I DECLARE I have the grace I need for today. I am full of power, strength, and determination.
- I DECLARE it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart.
- I DECLARE I am grateful for who God is in my life and for what He’s done.
- I DECLARE a legacy of faith over my life.
- I DECLARE that God has a great plan for my life.
- I DECLARE God’s dream for my life is coming to pass. (Taken from Joel Osteen's I DECLARE)
2. What is HONORABLE: What behavior and choices are Able to be Honored. Whether they come to light before others, or just between you and God, what can be honored. Anything else only bring about shame.
3. What is RIGHT: Simply put, that which is approved and acceptable to God. It is less about following the list of Don't, but what is right is also that which is righteous. When our lives are "right" there is great freedom and peace in our minds. We no longer have to hide or cover up.
4. What is PURE: The term "pure" for Paul refers to that which is free from what he terms the flesh. It is the carnal part of our lives, that must be brought into submission to the life of Jesus in us. The more room we give for Jesus, the less room there is for the flesh. The pure life is a powerful life. It is unpolluted or diluted by the flesh.
5. What is LOVELY & ADMIRABLE (Good Report): It is that which is worth speaking and sharing. If it is not worth repeating, it is not worth doing or saying the first time.
The Apostle ends with "Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." If it is worthy to be CELEBRATED, is not worth your thoughts. Don't invest your energy or time in what can't and shouldn't be celebrated.
Your mind (thoughts) determines the trajectory of your life. Don't leave it to happenstance or random emotions that come and go. Think on purpose, Think for your future, Think for your life… THINK ON THESE THINGS!!!