These words about what to think upon came as an end to the list of things Paul wrote to the believers at Philippi.
- Rejoice in the Lord!
- Be considerate in all you do.
- Don’t worry about anything.
- Pray about everything.
- Tell God what you need.
- Thank God for all He has done.
Then, the benefit: You’ll experience God’s peace that can’t be understood by humans.
It was after this that the apostle wrote this final thing. Not a PS, not an add-on, but saving this instruction for a purpose.
“Fix your thoughts.” Not a phrase we hear much now, but full of meaning. Webster gives us definitions: to make firm, stable, or stationary; to hold or direct steadily; to set or place definitely; to make an accurate determination of.
We’re not to just let our thoughts breeze through our minds. Paul told the believers at Corinth to capture them and direct them. Here he tells believers to focus them on only the things that met certain criteria. They have to be true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise.
In reality, there is only One who meets all those criteria, but I think God through Paul was allowing us to see the things on earth that met some of these.
We can think about the joy of a baby, the beauty of a spouse, the honor of a person of good character, the beauty of mountains, oceans, clouds, and people. We can choose to focus on good things rather than bad.
When our thoughts are right, our decisions are wiser, our actions are better. We move into right standing with God and maturity in the Savior.
In our culture today with so many scary things in the news, this is even more important. Riots are frightening. We must focus on the good, right, pure, honorable. COVID is scary. We must establish our minds on true, lovely, excellent. It’s not easy in this land of the 24-hour-news cycle, but it is possible.
It is imperative that we allow God to control us instead of the things that are deceptive, corrupt, debased, immoral, abhorrent, reprehensible, atrocious, not at all worthy of our praise. We must direct where our mind goes!
Let’s turn off the news for a day or two. Our lives won’t end if we miss it. Let’s choose where our minds fixate. Let’s be very particular about what goes in and what we dwell on. If we follow this instruction, we’ll have an easier time letting Him know our needs and thanking Him. We’ll know God’s peace that we can’t explain other than to say we have it.
How about today? Turn off the TV and radio news. Unfollow it on social media. If the chaos and fear assails you, refuse to let your thoughts stay there. Acknowledge it’s there and move on to the things you’re supposed to think about.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.