Thoughts
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

 

“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.”  -- Phil. 4:8

 

                It has been said that thoughts are the field upon which our lives are played.  I don’t think there is any doubt about that.  The Proverbs tell us, “As a man thinks so is he.”  I once had an encounter with an inmate in prison.  He was a “fallen pastor.”  And no pastor falls without bringing with him an avalanche of pain and suffering, doubt and despair, and a falling away of the weak.  Such was true of this man.  However, what he said to me on the day of that visit has remained with me for many years.

 

                In his counseling, his advisor said that you must control what you allow yourself to think about.  He said, “You must think about those things which are fruitful and productive.”  Of course, this high paid counselor was merely repeating what Paul told the Church at Philippi.  Your mind must focus on those things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.   And the world wants you to spend your time thinking about just the opposite.

 

                Many years ago, I signed up for a training program which emphasized the power of our thoughts.  The program asked the participants to paste on their walls pictures of their dream vacations, the dream homes, and/or their dream cars.  They indicated we should focus on those things until they become a reality in our lives.  On one hand, their understanding of what was important was highly perverted; but on the other, they understood the power of thoughts.

 

                Our thoughts provide for us an endless upward or downward spiral in our lives.  If we focus on the negative, the spiral will pull us downward until finally we resort to dishonoring God with our lives.  However, if we follow the admonitions of Paul, the spiral is turned toward heaven and the upward movement begins.  Paul, in one of my favorite passages, tells the Church at Colossi, “Set you minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:2)  Thoughts are a result of our mindsets, and our mindsets are the dictators of the direction of our lives.  So wherever your mindset, there go your thoughts, and wherever your thoughts lead you, there goes the direction of your lives.

 

                As Christians we must be intentional about what we think about.  Yes, in all of us drift thoughts which are harmful.  But we have a choice.  We can dwell upon those thoughts or we can put them out of our minds.  The choice is ours – but do not be mistaken, the choice you make will dictate the direction of your life.  The fallen pastor chose the think about sexual relationships with young people.  The thoughts finally consumed him and he acted on those thoughts.  His life, his family, and the lives of his victims were all permanently damaged.  But our thought life does not have to be as destructive as this pastor’s to make a miserable playfield for our lives.  We can dwell on the seemingly negative things that are going on in our lives, and our lives will begin to drift toward the negative.  We can think endlessly about what we don’t have, and before long we will become miserable with even what we do have.

 

                I would challenge any American Christian that is on a pity party, questioning God and questioning even their own worth to place their minds on things above.  Subscribe to Voice of the Martyrs.  Take a mission trip to a third world country.  Study the Sudan and Darfur.  See what is happening to the Christians in Northern Uganda. Go to a nursing home where parents have been rejected by their children.  Begin to think about (and pray about) those victims of abuse in our own land.  Then begin to ponder on ways you can serve God by serving others.  Think about the blessings we do have and the grace that God has shown us.  Think about Mother Teresa who gave her life to Christ instead of the stars and starlets whose lives look perfect on the surface, but deteriorating within.  Think about the local missionaries your church is supporting instead of the daily drivel handed out by our media.

                 There is much good, pure, lovely and noble for you to think about today.  Think about those things, for your thoughts are the playful of your life.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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