“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.” (Philippians 4:8)
For some reason, this verse is often used to talk about impure sexual thoughts and/or R-rated movies and/or violent video games. And that’s fine; it’s just not the point Paul was making, I don’t think.
He’s talking about anxiety. Worry. Being stressed out. He’s just told us never to be anxious, but instead to give our requests and thanksgiving to God. The result? A mind-blowing peace that doesn’t even make sense but protects our thoughts and emotions from being controlled by worthless worry.
Now what? Now – with the protection of God’s peace – you can control your thoughts. Be careful not to jump back into the worry zone by jumping right back into worthless thinking. Instead, think about what is true (not what might happen), what is noble (not how bad people can be), what is right (not a sinful approach to fixing your problems) . . .
You get the idea. Once you have God’s peace, think God’s thoughts to avoid falling back into trusting yourself more than you trust him.
Think: Do you feel like you can control your thoughts? Do you have the self-control to tell your brain what to stop or start thinking about? If so, how do you use that power?
Pray: Ask God to help you to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.
Do: Write these eight descriptors (true, noble, right, etc.) down on a piece of paper and carry it around with you this week as a way of reminding yourself to check your thoughts.Tweet