Promote joy by your thoughts

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:1-20.

“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).

The secret to a life filled with joy is in this verse. Along with the preceding verses in Philippians, it makes it clear that your thoughts determine your actions. Paul speaks about this in several other places too. In Ephesians 4:17 he wants us renew our spirits and minds. Romans 12:2 says, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” According to Paul, there was no doubt that your mind plays a decisive role in your life.

What you think, you are. You can try to suppress the effects your thoughts have, but eventually they will seep through and be evident in your lifestyle. It is difficult or even impossible to hide your thoughts. We do not always realise it but other people can, to a large extent, determine what we are thinking by looking at our actions. If you have nothing good to say about other people and you are constantly negative, it’s because of your negative thinking. If impure words come out of your mouth, it’s because you think of impure things. If you speak and act negatively about yourself, it’s because you think little of yourself. If you are malicious or lazy or unpleasant, it’s because you have allowed your mind to become negative. Sometimes we do not even realise how negative we are because, over the years, we have allowed negative thoughts to slowly take control of our lives.

In today’s verse, seven values are listed with which we should fill our minds. We must remove every thought that does not agree with one of these values because it is not from God. This verse steers us along a positive path for a godly life. Paul instructs us to “think about these things”. We have to exercise our minds, train ourselves to think along these lines, because this will put us on the right track. It is a daily process that you regularly need to teach yourself.

Prayer: Lord, I want my thoughts to be positive. Help me with this today with Amen.

By Quintus Heine

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