Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
I have heard it said all my life that you are what you eat. If our physical bodies become what we eat, how much more our souls become what we think! Just as our food provides physical nourishment, our thoughts provide spiritual nourishment. When we leave fresh fruits and vegetables out of our diets, when we dine mostly on refined carbohydrates and fatty, fried things, we will not be healthy. Our bodies will be tired, overweight, achy, we will have headaches, be depressed and lethargic and grouchy. But when we properly nourish our bodies over a long period of time, we become healthier, more vibrant, more energetic.
Our souls are no different. And I guess we can think of our minds as the starting point in our spiritual digestive tracts. When we feed our minds with gossip and slander, with foul language and pornography (even the soft kind, like we see on prime-time television), with hate and violence, then that will be our spiritual nourishment. And our spiritual health will be a reflection of that. But when we make a point of feeding our thoughts with the true, the noble, the right, the pure, the lovely, the admirable . . . then our spirits will reflect those things. We will actually become all of those things, simply by choosing to think about them!
Have you ever noticed that our minds are set up so that we can only think one thought at a time? Oh, some of us are “scatterbrained,” jumping quickly from thought to thought. Still, we can only think one thing at a time. So, to think about the true, we must push aside the false; to think about the noble, we must push out the base, menial thoughts. To focus on what is right, we must choose to reject what is wrong. To think pure thoughts, we must shut the door to the dirty, tainted, impure things. Lovely thoughts are found when we reject the ugly thoughts, and admirable thoughts are accomplished when we refuse to criticize and gossip and slander.
It is delightful to me that God is at both the beginning and end of such wonderful thoughts. He is goodness and love and light. So, when we draw near to Him, listening to His Word, talking to Him, we naturally turn our minds to truth, nobility, purity, rightness, loveliness, and excellence. Then, His Holy Spirit will follow us through our days, pointing out to us this lovely thing or that noble person, this excellent book or that important truth. At the end of the day, as we reflect on our delightful journey with our Lord, we will realize that God Himself was at the other end of each blessed discovery!
I don’t mean to make such positive thinking sound like it will lead us into a fairyland with birds dressing us and little mice singing. (Wouldn’t that be a hoot?) Rather, by focusing our thoughts on the good rather than the bad, we actually focus on God, rather than the evil one. And, just as a child becomes a replica of the parent by close observation and imitation, we will become more godly by thinking like God. And really, that is so much better than singing mice.
Dear Father, Forgive me for feeding my mind with negative things. Please help me to think Your thoughts.