Vol. 2 No. 52 – 12-24-2017
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, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
It is Christmas, what are you thinking about? Believer. Preacher. Leader. Executive. Worker. Mentor. Father. Mother.
The psychologists indicate that we are not what we think we are; we are what we think. The Bible indicates this statement has a great deal of truth. It is true that if a person thinks something often enough, they will come to the stage that they cannot stop thinking about it. This is true of the distractions of life—alcohol and other drugs, pornography, crime, illicit relationships, and on and on. People caught up in wrong thinking need a renewed mind, only available in Christ.
The battle for the mind is heavy in our culture. Advertising, print, music, education, social media, TV, radio, and even cell phones occupy the minds of people. Each day we are bombarded with approximately 2000 impressions to our mind. Solomon, who did not have all our electronics said, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 7:23).
Paul writes of our safety net for believers and servant-leaders.
- Whatever things are true; not the deceptive and illusory that let a person down; reality and absolute truth is the important thing. Does that ring true for you?
- Whatever things are honest; not that which is flippant and cheap. Focus on that which is valuable and esteemed. Does it have honest value?
- Whatever things are just; not setting our minds on pleasures, comforts, and the easy self-advancement. Focus on things that are right and just; pay your dues to others and God fully. Ask yourself if what you are about to enter is tainted or shady.
- Whatever things are pure; not soiled, smutty, or shabby. Look for the stainless and chaste. What is the contamination offered in the choices you make or wear?
- Whatever things are lovely; not bitter, critical, nor full of vengeance. Focus on the gracious and winsome. Do your thoughts produce kindness, forbearance, and right relationships? Or, do they bring strife and division?
- Whatever things are of good repute (report); things that are fit before God and others to hear. Think twice and say nothing is a Chinese proverb.
- The Bible says to think right and then say something that reflects the above qualities. Did you notice that each quality reflects one of the characters of Christ?.
Christmas attracts us to gatherings with many others. Thinking always ensues.
What are things that people count as excellent? What are things that people feel are praise worthy? Think on these things.
The objects on which a man allows his mind habitually to dwell upon determines his acts, his career, and his destiny. –C.R. Erdman
From the heart comes everything you think, say, and do (and it is you that will place the “stuff” in your heart that resides there). The only hope we have for a renewed mind is to come to Christ and let His truth richly dwell in the heart, the place that controls our thinking, speaking, and our doing.
Finally: The things you think toward others says more about your character than theirs. Think about that.