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Mindful of Your Thoughts

Paul was an apostle who wrote many letters that make up the New Testament of the Bible. Most of his writings were to churches he had started as a way of instructing, admonishing and encouraging them. Even though they were sent to specific churches two thousand years ago, the Holy Spirit inspired them and still uses them to instruct us today.

The book of Philippians is full of insight into living a life that honors God. Philippians 4:6-7 is often used to show that worrying adds nothing to our lives and only serves to shrink our trust in God. When we trust in God, we receive peace which guards our hearts and minds. Verses eight and nine are often used while teaching on media consumption. Paul recognizes the importance of our thought life and teaches us what to dwell on. But, viewed in context, these two verses serve to drive home one point: Be mindful of your thought life, because your thoughts become your actions.

In verse four, Paul says to rejoice in the Lord. Later he talks about dwelling on all that is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. To think on these things and find joy in the Lord is an exercise in trust. It defies circumstance. Worry is something we do when we aren’t trusting God to provide. It actually lessens our trust in Him by reinforcing our dependence on ourselves.

Perry Noble has taught “what you think about continually, you will do eventually.” Rejoicing in the Lord and dwelling over pure and lovely things leads to actions of a certain type. So does worry. Which will you choose today?

Reflect:

  • When was the last time you chose to rejoice in the Lord despite your circumstances telling you to do otherwise? When was the last time you gave in to worry?
  • What did each way of thinking lead you to do? How did your thoughts affect your actions specifically?
  • Looking ahead to the future, how can you better manage your thought life in a way that leads to actions that honor God?

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