Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So, why is it so important to be aware of where our thoughts are taking us?
Does it really matter if we daydream, if we allow our minds to settle in dark places, horrible events etc? Yes, it does. In our minds is where sin starts and our minds control what our hearts dwell on. And if our hearts dwell on bad things, they over time stop seeming so bad. Also, if we fill our minds with all the bad, it closes our spiritual ears off; we no longer can hear the Lord’s voice over the trash in our minds.
Do you know anyone who is constantly telling you about the news, all the horrible things they heard on television? They are obsessed with the what-ifs of life. Their mind dwells on the murders, the horrible weather events, this person did this bad thing and on and on. When you talk to them all they want to talk about is how they heard about these events on the news. Their minds are worried and fixated on the things of this world. They are usually the Christian’s who are storing up food and water for “end times.” Just saying.
How about people who watch filthy things on the internet, pornography, rapes, murders, role play; just any dark thing out there. They so saturate themselves in it that they cannot see they are becoming what they have been dwelling on. How many times have we heard about killings where particularly the young have been playing some game that kept their minds in dark places and they ended up acting out what they had been watching.
Think about it, when we watch or read something that is not Christ-centered or light-hearted, we are allowing ourselves to be duped into thinking it is okay. Even novels especially romantic ones will make our minds get fixated on characters. Wanting some time to be those people or maybe wishing our spouses were more like some character in a book, and when they don’t meet those expectations we feel discouraged and even start being angry and treating them differently. It may sound crazy to you, but it happens. I have heard stories from a few women who found themselves in just that place with those thoughts and disappointments.
If it was not important what we think about, this scripture would not have been put in the Bible. Every scripture has been written by God for our edification and guidance. It is there to teach us and shows us God’s heart for us. He tells us to think on things that are true. Well, God is truth, his word is truth. We need to read it and dwell on it. We need to allow it to sink into our hearts so that this truth dictates our actions.
He then goes on to tell us to think on things that are honest/noble, pure, lovely, just/admirable, good report/excellent and praiseworthy. Again, the best place to start is in the Word of God. It is all of those things, add to that life-giving, having the power to save. It is living and active.
We need to be very aware of what we put before our eyes because whatever it is will have our thought life and dictate our moods and actions. I am not sure about you, but I want above all else for my thoughts, my actions and my words to be pleasing to the Lord. I do not want to find myself daydreaming about something and suddenly be ashamed in the presence of my Savior. I want his thoughts, his word circulating through my mind and my heart 24/7. When I allow that to happen I find my load lighter, my conversations brighter, my attitude about problems corrected. I am able to bless others with encouraging words rather than fill them with dread because all I can think about is bad and the big what-ifs out there.
Evil exists, it is all around us. We do not have to even be looking to hear about it and you do, but it is what you do next that matters. Do you let it unsettle you or do you go to God’s word, remember that it is all under his Sovereign hand and it will be okay, He’s got this!
Meditate on his word, let it permeate your being and you will find this life a lot more enjoyable as we wait with anticipation for our Savior’s return or until he calls you home! It matters where your thoughts are, and it is never too late to start redirecting them. Now is a perfect time.