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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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”