How many times do we, as women, find ourselves stewing over something that happened in the past? Maybe it was the way that other mom looked at you when your kid had a meltdown in the store. Maybe you were passed over for a promotion. Maybe your husband forgot it was your anniversary. For some reason, we have a tendency to focus on things. We can have a hard time just letting it go.
And what typically happens? The more we think about it, the worse we feel. We put thoughts in other people’s heads, words in other people’s mouths because that MUST be what they were thinking in their ugly, hateful heads. She meant to do that. He’s had 7 anniversaries and he should know by now. We sit on it. We picture what happened. We assume the worst about the other person. We allow thoughts that should have no place take up residence in our minds and we justify it by telling ourselves how bad the other person was.
And you know what? AT THAT POINT, WE ARE THE ONES IN THE WRONG.
Yep. That’s what I said. Check this out:
Phillippians 4:8 tells us what types of thoughts we should be focusing on. It tells us what kind of things are beneficial for us to meditate on. The King James Version says it like this:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. I want to focus on these things, because they are clearly important. If, when we find ourselves thinking deeply, we ask ourselves if our thoughts meet these requirements, it would certainly improve our outlooks, our attitudes, and thus, our circumstances. So let’s investigate the true meaning of these words. I’m going to use Webster’s Dictionary for definitions.
True: Agreeing with facts.
What does it MEAN? It means that if it is not a proven fact, it needs to get out of your mind. “She must think I’m stupid.” “She looked at me like she was better than me.” “He can’t love me if he forgets our anniversary!” Here’s the problem with that: You can not possibly know what they were thinking. It is not a proven fact, thus you don’t know that it’s TRUE. Move along.
Honest: Good and truthful.
What does it MEAN? See above.
What does it MEAN? Take your thoughts about someone else and flip it around. Hypothetically assume the other person were thinking the same about you. Would it be right? Would you be hurt? Would it be something they, as a “good Christian” should be thinking? If not, let it go. It’s not something you should meditate on.
Pure: Free from taint and not harmful in any way.
What does it MEAN? Wow. This is a good one. If our thoughts are harmful in any way to ourselves or others, they need to go. How does this thought make you feel? Does it make you feel good? Or does it make you feel disdain toward them? If it isn’t uplifting, it’s tearing someone down. There really isn’t an in-between.
Lovely: Attractive; likeable; pleasing.
What does it MEAN? Would these thoughts be liked or pleasing to God? Would these thoughts, if said aloud, be something that were lovely to the ears? Chances are, if they aren’t, we need to weed them out.
Of Good Report: to be of good character.
What does it MEAN? Do these thoughts line up with what you would consider “good character?” Are these thoughts of good report?
Virtue: Particular moral excellence.
What does it MEAN? Moral excellence. You get it.
PRAISE: Praise! Praise! It will get your heart in the right mindset. It will help train your mind to think on Godly things. I can’t express enough the importance of taking time to praise. It’s amazing how, once I started teaching myself to really praise God daily, my thoughts and attitude started to change.
Ladies, let’s really THINK ABOUT the things we THINK ABOUT.
Love to my loves!