By Jenny Young
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
How many thoughts does one think in a day? It is stated that the average person thinks about 6,000 thoughts a day if they sleep for eight hours. When I consider it, that statistic is staggering. How many thoughts do I think in one day? Do I really want to know the answer to that?
I do not know about you, but I do a lot of thinking during my day. I find my thoughts can determine my attitude and how I treat others. My thoughts are very powerful and controlling. How can such a small thing affect so much of my life? It’s because my life is based on what and how I think. Everything that I do involves thinking.
My thinking can get me into more trouble than I care to admit.
I tend to overthink and make assumptions. My mind can easily conjure up something that is nowhere close to being true. Controlling my thought life is one of my weaknesses. I often think the opposite of how God would have me think.
Something I desire to do this year is to improve my thought life. I just recently completed a study on Philippians 4:8. Why? So that I can better my thinking and see how God wants me to think. I want to share some of my studies with you, and I pray it is a help to you.
God wants me to think on those things which are true. Truth is “a true state of facts or things.” According to this word, I should think about that which is built on truth and not lies. Why? Because if I think about the lies, it means I am listening to my flesh; I am allowing my flesh to control and take over my thoughts. If my thinking is built on that which I know is true, it is God that I am listening to. He will never make me think about something false.
Truthful thinking means that I am allowing God to control my thoughts.
I am also to think on those things which are honest. Honest is “the thought of being upright, just, fair in dealing with others; free from trickiness and fraud.” My thinking should be fair toward others. Being fair means not jumping to conclusions or assuming what others are thinking. I do not know the motive or the thoughts of others. I should never assume that I do. But, it is something that I am guilty of doing. I assume things based on a look, a simple text, or a passing conversation. I should be fair in thoughts of others and take them for who they are and what they have said.
Another way I am to think is on that which is just. The word just means “that which is free from sin or sinful affections or desires; or thinking that is innocent (free from guilt).” This could refer to even thinking about past mistakes and failures I have made along the way. When I stop and ponder my past, I’m overcome with guilt. God does not desire for me to live and think that way. God has forgiven me. I must remember that forgiveness when my mind tries to dwell on my past.
The fourth way that God wants me to think is purely. The word pure means “properly clean, innocent, modest, and perfect.” For my thoughts to stay pure and clean, they must stay focused on God and the truth. God does not want my mind to be clouded with the filth of this world. Having pure thoughts means I must guard my thought life and consider my thoughts.
I must ask God to keep them pure, and then, I must guard my own mind.