I have been sitting here literally for 45 minutes with a totally blank mind. I have no idea what to write about today and any ideas I have had keep rabbit-trailing through my mind. Since I could think of nothing to think of, I went to the Bible...think on these things..."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." (NIV) As an introvert who tends towards pessimism I can get into a world of trouble when I get too much into my own head. It can be a downward spiral of thoughts that go from just the mundane to slightly aggravating to downright apocalyptic. Runaway thoughts become a ticket on the crazy train.
I have to actively keep my thoughts on the Lord and His plans for me so that I don't become a negative Nelly, a Debbie downer. I have to do as it says in Phillipians 4:8 and think on the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.
What is true? Well, the ultimate truth for me is that God is, and God loves, and that God loves me. He has chosen me before the foundations of the world, (Ephesians 1:4). He chose me and He has a plan for me, and that plan is for my good and not my harm, (Jeremiah 29:11). The truth is that no matter where I am, no matter what I go through, He is with me and nothing will separate me from His love and His presence, (Romans 8:38-39). He will never leave me or forsake me, (Hebrews 13:5). So, what is true? He is. The way, the truth and the life, (John 14:6).
What is noble? Those things that are noble are the things that are of exalted character or excellence. This means thinking with the mind of Christ, (Phillipians 2:5). This means looking past human faults and frailties and seeing others through the eyes of Jesus. This means being slow to anger and quick to forgive. It means not just looking out for ourselves but putting others before us, (Phillipians 2:3-4). Being noble means being honorable and worthy and living a life that shows what an honorable and worthy God we serve.
What is right? I think this can be summed up in one verse, Micah 6:8, "O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (NIV) If we do what is right or just that means it is guided by truth or according to God's will and His word. If we love mercy it means that we act with compassion or forbearance, especially towards those who may have offended us. If we walk humbly with God it means that we realize God's greatness and His grace and we live in a manner that shows honor to Him. Titus 3:1-7 says this, "Remind your people to obey the government and its officers, and always to be obedient and ready for any honest work. They must not speak evil of anyone, nor quarrel, but be gentle and truly courteous to all. Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us. But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, then he saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit, whom he poured out upon us with wonderful fullness—and all because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did so that he could declare us good in God’s eyes—all because of his great kindness; and now we can share in the wealth of the eternal life he gives us, and we are eagerly looking forward to receiving it." (Living Bible) When we realize who God is, what He has done for us and what He has not only saved us from, but what He has saved us to, we have the desire to live rightly and to honor Him with our lives, our actions, our words.
What is pure? When we look at what pure means, the definition is free from anything of a different, inferior or contaminating kind. Pure gold, pure water. Undefiled. It means having the mind of Christ, it means dwelling on His word, it means not thinking the way the world thinks. It means giving ourselves to Him totally; body, mind, soul and spirit. "Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]." (Romans 12:1-2, AMP) When I think of pure I think of cold, fresh water running in a mountain stream. Refreshing, invigorating, restorative. That is what we are to be as His children to those around us. A cold drink of water on a hot day. Uplifting and rejuvenating to those who are lost and alone. Energizing and fortifying to those worn and weary. Showing His pure love.
What is lovely? Lovely is what is delightful or exquisitely beautiful. When I think of lovely, I think of Jesus. I think of His compassion for us. I think of His sacrifice for us. I think of the joy He gets in our fellowship with Him. I think of the memory of the dream or vision I had of Him holding me, a lost and forsaken child, curled up in the dirt; loved by no one and desolate. That feeling of His holding me can only be described as exquisitely beautiful, precious beyond words. He is so beautiful, in all that He is and all that He does. If I am His child, then I am to be as He is. Walking as He did, (1 John 2:6). Following in His steps, (1 Peter 2:21). Being imitators of God, (Eph. 5:1-2) Doing as He tells us, (Luke 6:46). Being gentle and humble, (Matthew 11:29). What is lovely? It is being a reflection of Christ to a lost and dying world.
What is admirable? Being admirable means inspiring affection or reverence. And as a Christian that means pointing all of that back to Jesus. Anything good in us, anything worthy, anything commendable, it all comes to us through Him and from Him. We are who we are because of His love for us, His sacrifice for us. Without His virgin birth, without His death for our sins, without His resurrection we are just lumps of flesh, breathing in and out, just going through the motions. What is admirable? It is loving like He does. It is making the hard decisions to live as He did. It is making sacrifices so that others will be blessed. It is giving our all to proclaim His grace and glory. Admirable also means wonderful and marvelous. Psalms has more than one verse that speaks of God's wonderful works towards man. Even His name is wonderful, (Isaiah 9:6). And yes great and marvelous are His deeds, (Rev. 15:3). He is worthy of our love, He is worthy of our affection, He is worthy of our admiration.
So thinking of these things, all that is excellent or praiseworthy, is easy when we dwell on Him. When we get out of our own heads and seek His heart. When we take our focus off of the world and put it on Him. When we stop looking at all of the troubles, issues and annoyances and see all of the blessings that He has bestowed on us. No runaway thoughts here; instead meditating on the Lord and His goodness. Rather than getting on the crazy train we will be on that gospel train bound for glory.
All definitions from definition.com