One Step to Excellent Thinking2
8 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.
I remember studying this once with a small group about twenty years ago and someone commented that it felt like Paul was saying to think of nothing but puppies and butterflies and unicorns.
We live in a cynical age. And this is a radical call away from that internal and external chorus of cynical voices that are much more familiar than the ‘true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy’ voices for many of us.
We started the week by saying the most important and pitched battles in our lives are often internal, not external. If we lose the battle inside our minds and hearts, we often lose the war before we even take our first step.
“Whatever’s really, really, really good—think about those things.” Paul’s call here is simple. But some of the most significant additions to our lives and to our world have a beautiful simplicity to them. The original iPhone shattered all conventions with just one button to push. Maybe the battle for your mind can be won with a simple yet elegant response.
Think of someone that you know that has done a brave thing. Read stories of people who have overcome tragedy and heartbreak. Study the Scriptures for how God works through and redeems ordinary people to make them into extraordinary heroes. Consider the life, teachings, work, death, resurrection, and mission of Jesus to make all things new.
When these things saturate our thinking, they inspire us, they shape the travel patterns of our brain’s neurons and the imaginings of our hearts. When we think on these things, we are better empowered to win the battle inside our own heads.
Fear and worry and self-doubt or even mere ambition and ego cannot handicap us in our walks with Jesus or the risks he’s calling us to take when our thoughts are full of what Paul describes here.
Think of something that would qualify for this list—something true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent and/or praiseworthy. Ask the Holy Spirit to use this to help you to win the battle inside your own head today. Come back to it at least three time throughout the day.