Faith & Family - Cullman, Alabama Spring 2020 - Page 25

about right thinking: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV). The word translated “meditate” means to give careful “ Practicing what Paul instructed in Philippians 4:8 will help calm our minds and help us develop a more positive outlook about life. ” thought to a matter. We should be concerned about our thoughts because they determine our actions. Solomon wrote, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Jesus declared, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19). Our thinking is closely associated with mental health; that is, the state of our minds is directly related to our thoughts. Troubled thoughts disturb the mind; lovely thoughts soothe the heart. Furthermore, what we think about affects our character (Proverbs 23:7 — “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he …”). Robert Waldo Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks all day long.” Someone else suggested, “We are not what we think we are, but what we think, we are.” Meditating on “whatever things are true” will help us not be downcast or depressed. False news and rumors are a part of daily life. A person who listens to the daily negativity of certain news reports will find it difficult to anticipate the sunshine of a better day. He should seek truth that is factual as opposed to what is hypothetical, deceptive and imaginary. Things that “are true” do not refer to what culture deems to be true, but what God has determined is true. The “things … noble” pertain to what is dignified and inspires respect for others. The “things … just” refer to what is right and fair in God’s sight. The “things … pure” relate to what is morally pure. Moral filth of many books, magazines and Hollywood productions deprave the mind and fill it with impure thoughts. Thinking about “things … lovely” inspires kindness and friendliness which affect our relationship with others. The “things … of good report” pertain to what is commendable and praiseworthy. Practicing what Paul instructed in Philippians 4:8 will help calm our minds and help us develop a more positive outlook about life. Following Paul’s guidelines is beneficial, not only during this time of uncertainty, confusion and fear surrounding the pandemic, but also throughout life. April 2020 | Faith & Family 25