“Mind”ing What Is Important
Read Philippians Chapter 4
Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.
Our minds are a powerful force. We were created in His image and part of that image is evident in the example of our minds. There is no other creature on earth which has the ability to think and reason like man. As is the case in any gift given by God, there comes with it a responsibility to use it wisely and to use it in the ways it was originally intended. In the Garden of Eden, the mind of man was, in the beginning, 100% centered on God and His purpose and direction. I don’t have to tell you that once man fell to sin, the mind began a long journey away from God and toward those things which are harmful to man. We are instructed to bring it back to its original purpose; worshiping God and doing His will.
This verse from Philippians has some great suggestions along that line of thought. Every day, our minds are bombarded with choices of what we can think about. Our enemy has placed along our pathway those things which he would like us to dwell upon. Every one of the distractions he has devised will take us away from God’s plan. Our duty, our task, is to take control of our thoughts and direct them along the ways of God. Look at this list which Paul gives us. Is there anything in it which would include sinful same-sex thoughts? We know the answer to that question.
It will take a lot of practice before we will be able to train our minds to “think about such things.” It will never happen if we don’t start working on it. So, we need to start today. The next time we face a moment of temptation, here is our list of things we can think about to help us resist the enemy. The next time we see an attractive man, how can we direct our thoughts in such a way that deflects temptation? Here are some things which came to my mind; you can add your own.
True – Thinking truth will help us see that the man is the property of his Creator.
Noble – It would be noble for us to view him and think of him in the same way God views him.
Right – Thinking what is right will cause us to pray over his eternal destiny, or witness to him.
Pure – Pure thoughts about him might include prayers for his physical and emotional welfare.
Lovely – There should be no problem in our recognizing that he is physically attractive. But immediately upon that recognition, we can start looking for his heart and trying to find the “loveliness” of his heart. That will take our thoughts away from the body.
Admirable – There is no reason why we cannot admire God’s creation. There is much around us to admire. That gives us opportunity to direct our thoughts toward admiration of the One who created.
Excellent – The best example of excellence is God Himself. Thoughts of God never hurt our chances of rebuffing temptation.
Praiseworthy – This one is too easy. There is only One who is worthy of praise. Think always of Him.
I would love to hear some of the ideas that came to you as you considered other ways to “think about such things.”
Prayer: Help us to retrain our minds to think on lofty things, eternal things, and all things profitable to You and Your Kingdom. Show us more and more ways to apply this lesson to our lives.