Life and peace? Yes, please!
All around us things clamor for our attention, making peace a seemingly elusive concept just out of our reach at times. Paul tells the Romans a mind set on the Spirit leads to life and peace. That sounds great, but how do we do that? How do we take our minds off of our flesh and set them on the Spirit?
Stick around this week and see what God’s word has to say about it …
Food for Thought
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 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. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8, NLT
During a recent conversation with a friend, she spoke of the horrible anxiety she was having due to horrific global events. Images from news stories were occupying her thoughts, and the resulting anxiety was waking her in the middle of the night.
I can sympathize all too well with my friend. If I’m not using discernment about what I allow to fill my mind, I can see the results in my thoughts and in the lack of peace I feel in my soul.
So, I should just stop thinking about that stuff and think about happy things, right?
Well, yes, sort of. Thought control is important, and the idea certainly isn’t new—seeing that Paul encouraged the Philippians to fix their thoughts on things that were excellent and worthy of praise.
But just as healthy food fuels our bodies, the content we allow in our minds fuels our thoughts.
While some people are naturally just positive thinkers, the Greek meaning of praise, is to be “ascribed to God, in respect of His glory.” So Paul isn’t recommending some watered-down “look on the bright side” theology here; he is encouraging the Philippians to fill their minds with more Jesus!
The truth is that it’s downright difficult to focus our thoughts on “what is true and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable” if we are aren’t filling it with such things. The music we listen to, the books we read, and the movies we watch all influence what we think. In turn, the thoughts that we allow to fill our minds reveal themselves in the words we speak as well as in our actions.
If we’re struggling with our thought lives, the answer is more Jesus. More time in His word. More praise music in our homes. More focus on Him and less focus on what the world is offering.
Fixing my thoughts,