Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 4, 2019
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
We talked on the phone two or three times a week. Momma called me a couple of times and I would call her at least once. From time to time I caught myself being irked about the 20% of our conversation that irritated me—-my ego was bruised because of Momma’s nonstop “mommain”. We started with a casual conversation about the weather, moved to the need for me to be careful in my upcoming travels (“Son, I don’t trust planes”) and ended with the reminder to get my flu shot. Not surprisingly, since Momma is gone, instead of focusing on the 20% that bothers me, I focus on the 80% of her life that influences me in a healthy, helpful way. Now I pray, Lord help me focus on the 80% that’s good in relationships and not the aggravating 20%.
The early church pioneer, Paul, had relational challenges, but chose to remind maturing Christians to think good thoughts about themselves and others. A mind renewed by truth is able to detect and dismiss lies. A noble life rises above petty grievances and sees the bigger picture of what the Lord is doing. An honest mind plans to do right when the majority does wrong. A pure heart grows in the grace of patient love. A worshipful attitude sees the Lord in the beauty of His holiness. Admiration of excellent work praises and thanks God. A mind full of good thoughts has only a sliver of space to retain stinking thinking.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:2, The Message).
Before registering disappointment, remember what is true about a friend—she listened to you with understanding in your time of need. Before correction—compliment a struggling child who is seeking to do what’s right in a world gone wrong. Before suspecting his motive, give a co-worker the benefit of the doubt—think the best. Weave Scripture into your mind and truth’s tapestry will cover your thoughts. Every thought captured for Christ keeps the devil at a distance.
How can you begin to focus on the 80% that is good in a relationship and not be distracted or obsessed by the disappointing 20%? Start by regularly receiving into your heart and mind the love and truth of the Lord. Divine love drives out consuming fears and alluring lies. God’s love is jealous of deceptive suitors who only want to pollute your mind and depress your heart. Avoid the company of complainers and hang out with those whose words build up. Keenly listen to voices who fill their minds with God’s word, whose hearts are being healed. Give a deaf ear to the noise of faithless, fearful souls—enamored only with themselves, perpetuating a damaging hurt. Most of all focus intently on Jesus—He is good all the time—yes, 100% of the time!
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor” (Hebrews 12:2, The Living Bible)
Heavenly Father, by faith I focus on you and your love for me, in Jesus’ name, amen.
In what person or circumstance do I need to shift my focus to see the good that God is producing through such a challenging situation?
Weave Scripture into your mind and truth’s tapestry will cover your thoughts. Every thought captured for Christ keeps the devil at a distance. #WisdomHunters #focus
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