Good morning. I hope you had a great weekend.
How many of your have ever heard the term “stinking thinking?” This is a description of allowing your thoughts to become completely negative about everything. These thoughts may be inwardly focused thoughts of failure or not being quite good enough or they could be outwardly focused thoughts of criticism and judgment towards other people or circumstances.
Have you ever noticed that when you are around negative people it becomes very easy for you to become negative as well? The negativity affects everything in our lives. Now the glass is half empty in every situation, we lose sight of hope and optimism.
The Apostle Paul recognized the root of these thoughts…the mind. Look at his words from Philippians chapter 4:
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Our minds are the most wonderful information processing tools on the planet. With them we can dream, create and put into motion the innovations that take us farther, faster and higher. On the flip side, our minds can be filled with “junk.” Thoughts that draw us away from God, that causes us to diminish our own self worth, to make decisions that are harmful to our overall well being.
Paul recognized that every action begins with a thought. The seeds of sin are planted in the soil of the mind. In our day and age we are bombarded with a continual barrage of messages that run the gambit from the comical to the criminal and from the pure to the putrid. Each of these messages plants the seed for thoughts and ultimately can plant the seed for action.
As I spoke of before, if we bombard ourselves with negative influences we tend to become negative people. If we don’t shelter our minds and only allow the seeds of sinfulness to be planted, then we will find our struggles with the flesh become more difficult. When you allow the field of the mind to only be seeded with messages of selfishness, sexual desire and one upsmanship then it should be no surprise when you constantly struggle with selfishness, lust and haughty arrogance.
Paul is encouraging us here to lock our thoughts in on what is true, honorable and right. We are exhorted to think about those things that are pure, lovely and admirable. I find that when I lock my thoughts into these types of things, my whole outlook on my day and those I come into contact with is much better. I began to see life through eyes of purity and not eyes of sin.
So how do we fix our minds on those things that bring life? Evaluate the TV you watch, the music you listen to and the influence of the people you surround yourself with. Life is too short for “stinking thinking” so today I encourage you to look for life giving influences. Fill your mind with the seeds that bring a harvest of purity and allow you to see your world through God’s eyes.
Until next Monday, may God’s richest blessings be yours this week.