“If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV.
Thoughts have a power to create and color the interpretation of your inner world.
My thoughts and comments today are about “your thought life.”
More than you imagine, thoughts influence how you feel, what you do, what you say, what you believe and, eventually, who you are. Thoughts are more powerful than you might at first realize. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right!” Thoughts have a power to create and color the interpretation of your inner world as well as your assumptions about the world surrounding you. Albert Einstein said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Jesus was asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” His response was simpler than expected; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and with all your mind.” Luke 10:25/27 NKJV. Jesus’ words are where any consideration or conversation about thoughts must begin. Thoughts are integral to a successful, spiritual life. Let me suggest a few practical ways to take charge of your inner thought life.
Fill your mind with the truth of God’s Word. “Oh, the joys of those who . . delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about [meditate upon]His Law.” Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV. Think Biblically.The Psalm describes the process of God’s Word being perpetually in the forethought of all your deliberations, “day and night.” Our closest English word might be “ruminate – the continuing, deliberative process for fullest understanding.” Healthy, happy, and Godly thoughts begin with putting God’s Word in your heart intentionally and continually. “For the Word of God is . . able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NASV.
Occupy your thoughts positively. “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV. There are processes of thought you indulge to your own detriment. See 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV. Negative, hurtful thoughts of anger, jealousy, resentment, doubt, worry, fear, regret, or past hurts cloud your peace of mind. You determine what you will allow to linger in your mind. “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV. Be vigilant and at peace.
Manage your thoughts productively. “Those who are controlled by the Spirit think about those things that please the Spirit . . if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6 NLT. When you are without the Holy Spirit’s control, you forfeit the dimension of life and peace He intends. “You [Lord] will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV.
Discipline your thoughts prudently. “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV. Undisciplined thoughts can lead you places you never intended to go and to become a person you never intended to be. You do not have to indulge your random thoughts and negative emotions. Exercise Godly authority. “. . for we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT.
Inadequate, inaccurate, or incorrect thinking is at the root of immaturity. When you think correctly you learn to respond correctly, which reflects spiritual maturity. My favored definition of spiritual maturity is: “Rightly responding to life’s situations according to Biblical patterns of behavior.” To me, that sounds like a proper description of Jesus, Who could say truly, “I always do those things that please the Father.” John 8:29 NKJV. Spiritual maturity is simply Christ-likeness. See Romans 8:28-29 NLT. The Word of God will progressively conform you to the Savior’s likeness as your mind is renewed in its truth. See Romans 12:2 NIV.
My prayer for you today is that your mind is renewed through His Word and wisdom.