I have finally recovered from my own cold and its time to focus my thoughts more clearly. We've already taken a quick look at thoughts that are true, noble, and right.
How are you doing with this whole "taking your thoughts captive" thing?
I have to admit, it is a lot easier on paper than in practice, however I have seen such a huge benefit in my own life due to a concentrated study. My head is always my worst enemy and I love that the Lord already knew I would struggle in this area. He so graciously meets me each time I spend time with Him. His word is truly alive!
Next on our thought checklist is to make sure our thoughts are pure. I love that the Lord is covering all the bases, don't you?
Pure simply means "Unmixed with any other type of matter. Free from harshness or roughness." Exactly!
If I am fixed on Jesus and surrendering my will to His, then there is not any room for "other" types of thoughts. Selfishness cannot exist if I am studying His unselfishness and yielding to His leading each day.
Since God is a God of love and peace, and since He lives in me, then there will NOT be harshness or roughness in my thoughts, words, or actions.
(Hard swallow) The more I study the word the more I become aware of what a wretch I truly am.
When I mix the Words in red with any other material, my thoughts become polluted. I am easily deceived and misled, so I have to be careful what I read. I prefer to stay in the Word, rather than risk an "oil spill" in my brain.
Where I am not as vigilant in guarding my thoughts is when I sit to watch television. I can easily find my vegetative state after a long day and become hypnotized by, well, stupidity. This stupidity leaks into my thoughts and affects my life.
I find the sweet Hallmark movies a perfect example. After watching some of the wonderfully sappy shows that are on lately I can find myself discouraged that my life doesn't measure up. I can entertain negative thoughts about my own husband. "If only he..." I can beat myself up as I compare myself to those amazing women portrayed on the big screen, "If only I..."
When I mix what the Lord has called me to be and do and I dare to compare it with what I perceive He has called you to do, my thoughts and life become murky.
I believe that thinking on "Whatever is Pure" is essential to walking in peace. (Funny that I would agree with the Lord).
When there is an input category of "other" I need to be on guard.
Its a sneaky process. The enemy is truly a liar and a thief desperate to rob us of our peace. We need to be careful in our own lives that we are conscious of what we mix in our minds.
I will stop comparing my life to yours, you need to never compare your life to any one's either. There is no peace there. We need to be purposeful in choosing what we read, watch, and absorb. There are no innocent bystanders here.
Focus on things that are pure: the Love of Christ, the fact He promises peace without understanding, that He is our strength, the promises He gives (and keeps) in His word, His direction and will for our lives. He is so good.
Lord, help us be simple minded people, content within our lives and circumstances, and laser locked on You and Your Word.
I find it hard not to compare my life to others during the holidays.
How about you?
"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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."