“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Years ago, I felt I needed to watch the News every night to make sure I didn’t miss something important. After a while of hearing about every homicide, accident and tragedy that happened in a 24-hour period, I was almost afraid to step outside of my house. Bad things were always happening to good (and not-so-good) people. After a while, I decided this was not helping me in any way, shape, or form so I stopped watching. It’s possible I have now swung to an opposite extreme, as I hardly ever know what’s going on in the world unless someone tells me or posts it on Facebook, but if I don’t sleep at night, it’s at least not out of fear that someone will murder me in my bed. I realize most people aren’t affected to this degree simply by watching the evening news but I do think it’s easy for anyone to focus on or worry about things that are really beyond our control.
In Philippians 4, Paul gave us a list of things to think about and focus on. I don’t always do it perfectly but, at times, I go over this list and begin to think about what I am putting in my mind. What books am I currently reading? What movies am I watching? Who am I listening to on a regular basis? If anything does not match the above criteria, I need to seriously consider why I am allowing these things into my mind.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).
My desire is that everything I do bring glory to God. This begins in the mind. If my focus is on God and what He desires of me, how He desires to bless others, etc., then He will answer my prayer to bless the work of my hands. Not because I am anyone special but because I am ready and willing to be used by Him at a moment’s notice.
If you are down today or fearful of something, I hope that you will take some time to focus on this verse. Think about the good things God is doing in your life and begin to praise Him. Don’t let the devil use the negativity that is all around to bring you down. Recalibrate your mind, and I trust that the worry and fear will begin to subside.
Amen, sis! If our focus is not on the heavenlies, where our Rock and refuge is, it will be on earthly things – that is our natural inclination. The danger is always that of being slowly conformed to the pattern of the world, which is at war with God – until Christ returns and puts all enemies under His feet, on Judgment Day.