“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
As women, we can make up the craziest stories in our head over something so small. Just one thought can thrust us over the edge into another universe and before we know it, we are dead set positive on something completely untrue. Has this ever happened to you? It happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. Especially in my marriage — if my husband doesn’t text me right back, I have the tendency to go into an oblivion and think the worst situation has happened. Which then causes me to worry myself sick to the point where I can’t even function until I get ahold of him. Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this.
That’s when the Holy Spirit gently reminds me of this scripture. I like to call it my Jesus Filter. Every time you have a crazy thought (everyone’s got a little crazy in them!), ask yourself, “Is this true, right, pure or excellent?” If your answer is no, take that thought captive! Give it to the Lord. Sometimes I literally picture myself laying the thought down at His feet. And if you find that thought creeping back in, give it to Him again! And again.
Paul uses the word “practice”. I think he wanted us to know that this way of thinking isn’t going to come naturally. We are going to fail, but that’s what “practice” is all about. If you are practicing a sport, an instrument or any type of hobby, you are going to make mistakes. Practicing the disciple of controlling your thoughts is no different. You will mess up, but we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 12:9, His grace is enough. He is made strong in our weakness. We just have to call on Him.
Giving your thoughts to our Father is worth the extra effort because that’s how we are filled with His sweet, sweet peace. It takes practice but with the help of the Holy Spirit, you’ve got this. Just don’t give up.