"Finally, brothers and sisters, 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."
~Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Verse mapping! :)
- Whatever - used to emphasize a lack of restriction in referring to any thing or amount, no matter what
- True - in accordance with fact or reality
- Noble - possessing very high or excellent qualities or properties
- Right - being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper
- Pure - free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes; without any extraneous and unnecessary elements
- Lovely - exquisitely beautiful; delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace
- Admirable - deserving the highest esteem, respect, and approval
- Excellent - extremely good; outstanding
- Praiseworthy - deserving approval and admiration
When I look at these definitions, I realize that if all my thoughts were aligned with these, then love, encouragement, and peace would just automatically flow from me! Over the past week, I have really focused on watching my thoughts. Whenever I had a moment to "think about my thoughts," I went through this list about my thoughts:
- Is this thought true? Is this actually a fact, or something that my emotions are leading me to think?
- Is this thought noble? Does this topic I am pondering possess excellent qualities, or does it possess negative, harmful, or destructive qualities?
- Is this thought right? Is this thought in line with what is good, just, or proper? Am I being fair to the subject I am considering?
- Is this thought pure? Does this thought contain anything harmful or negative that will contaminate my view of the subject? Is this thought free of anything that might weaken me or someone else? Is this thought free of anything that is unnecessary to thinking about it, such as raw emotions that may not be based on facts?
- Is this thought lovely? If someone else were to see what I am thinking, would they see it as beautiful, or ugly?
- Is this thought admirable? If someone else were to see what I am thinking, would they respect me and my thoughts? Is this thought respectful to others? Would God approve of this thought?
- Is this thought excellent? Is this topic I am dwelling on a good, healthy, positive topic?
- Is this thought praiseworthy? If someone else heard this thought, would they approve of it? Would Jesus approve of this thought? Would others admire me if they heard what I was thinking?
I found out that I did not have to get far past "true" to realize if I needed to change what I was thinking about or not! :) Also, I realized that while other people may not be able to see my thoughts, they can sense a "vibe" about what I am thinking and feeling towards them. And God sees all of our thoughts!
One example I found myself going through several times during the week was my thoughts towards others. I was frustrated with myself that I even had these thoughts, but it was good to work through them! When I found myself frustrated with someone else, I just walked myself through the list. I would quickly realize that the person I was upset with is just another human being trying to survive in this crazy world, just like me. This softens my heart every time I realize it, and immediately turns my day around.
It really all does begin with our thoughts! God bless!!! :)