Daily D – Philippians 4:8
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. PHILIPPIANS 4:8 (NLT)
“Daddy, fix it.” Every father has heard such a plaintive cry. Broken toys are taken to Dad for repair. He applies his wisdom and talents and restores toys to working order. Dads are good like that.
Good dads also help their children learn how to fix their own problems across the years. This is one of the most valuable things dads do.
Our Father in heaven helps us help ourselves. One way he does that is by teaching us how to think and what to think about. He tells us what to fill our minds with so that hurtful, hateful things have much less power over us.
My mother, the Master Gardener, says the best way to get rid of weeds in your yard is to feed and care for the good grass you have. This is similar to what the Apostle Paul tells us here.
This translation uses the words, “Fix your thoughts . . .” The idea is not repair, but focus. However, I cannot hear the word fix without thinking of repair. To overcome the damage of social media hatefulness, the bad news agenda of the networks, and the shouting headlines of the newspapers, we require a positive alternative.
Paul gives us the fix, the repair, and the focus, to help us. He says give more and more attention to what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. He also includes that which is excellent and worthy of praise.
When I spend an hour or two at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, I am deeply humbled by the creative genius of those artists whose work continues to awe and delight visitors today after centuries of display.
We can transform our minds into museums filled with rare and beautiful treasures by giving focused, intentional attention to all things bright and beautiful.
This means we may not be able to engage in water cooler conversations about the hippest and coolest shows on TV. This means we may not be able to argue others into submission regarding our political worldview. This means we may live with less contention and irritation. This means we might enjoy life more.
What do you need to repeal and replace within your scope of attention? What do you need more of and less of? How will you begin adding excellent and praiseworthy thoughts to your mind today?
I will take a hike. I will ponder Psalm 23 and The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). I will turn over other Bible verses these passages bring to mind. I will think God’s thoughts after him. I will seek his perspective.
Decorate your mind and you will decorate your world.
I will fix my thoughts by thinking about God’s better alternatives.
Our Father, I want to fill my mind with beauty. I want to ponder all that is good. I want less stress and more joy. Teach me how to fix my thoughts through positive focus. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“