To anyone new to my blog, today is the beginning of a weekly series where I will be going through each chapter of the book Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. Feel free to jump in any time!
Thinking on Truth
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Think on These There are eight qualities listed here: truth, honor, righteousness, purity, loveliness, good reputation, excellence, and being praise-worthy. These are the kind of things that God COMMANDS us to think on. These are not suggestions! And what is KEY to thinking on these things? Choosing what NOT to think about.
Not These In order to think on truth, we must lay aside the lies that we hear each day. If we are pondering things that are honorable and righteous, it is only because we have chosen not to dwell on things that are corrupt or immoral. Purity implies perfection, being untainted by anything that is unacceptable. Loveliness…beautiful and captivating. Anything else would be repulsive, unappealing. Do you allow yourself to focus on things that are counterfeit, inferior and worthy of anything BUT praise? Should we be surprised when we are depressed, anxious or agitated?
Happiness is a Choice I read a book many years ago, Happiness is a Choice (Dr. Frank Minirth/Dr. Paul Meier) that took the topic of depression and broke it down. To be honest, I was offended at first. To accept that any part of my depression was due to my own choice made me angry. But I soon realized that I DID have a choice to a large degree. I was not in control of the many chemicals in my body, but I COULD control what I allowed myself to dwell on throughout the day.
But how? If you only take away one thing from this chapter, I want it to be this. You have the power to begin this change. Yes, you do. As a child of God, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you! You have full access to His power! He has promised you that you “can do all things” through Him!
My own example Allow me to get personal. I suffer from a chronic pain disorder. I haven’t been pain free in years. I have taken medication, changed my diet, gone to physical therapy…and I STILL am not free of pain. I watched my mother die less than a year ago. She dealt with pain for as long as I can remember. If I let myself, I could spiral down so deep, wondering if my path will be similar. But I have learned that I CANNOT go there in my thinking! I can’t allow myself to dwell on the fact that both my sons have inherited many of my health issues either. Those things are not in line with where God has commanded my thoughts to dwell.
What I CAN do is focus on the fact that I am taking charge of my health in order to change the things that are in my power to change. I know that God is in complete control and I can trust Him with my health AND the health of my children. I know that as part of the body of Christ, He has given, and will continue to give, me opportunities to minister to others with the strength that HE will supply. There may be seasons that all I can do is pray for others, but that is a tremendous ministry! Finally, (as in the last thing I will mention here) I know, and choose to dwell on the fact that everything He has allowed in my life is being used to conform me into the image of Jesus Christ!
What about you? Where are you today? Are you in a deep dark place? You don’t have to stay there. I didn’t even touch on the suggestions from the book that will help us to stay focused on “these things.” I would love to encourage you! I am inserting a “Contact Me” form below if you should want to reach out to me. It will send your message directly to me rather than putting it in the comment section for the world to see. Or, if you would like to discuss your thoughts from this chapter, use the comment form at the bottom and we can have to opportunity to discuss things with others as well.
Lesson 2, “Thinking the Truth About…God and His Word” will be next! Friday, January 9th. Grab the book and a study guide and join me!