Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My personal mind renewal plan

Today was trash day at my house.... and as they say,
Garbage in - Garbage out!
The same is true with our thoughts! What are YOU feeding your mind?
Today as I was preparing to write this post, I kept coming back to the idea that I should write about the need to fix my thoughts.  As it turns out, improving my thoughts is something that I'm always working on, but find that at the moment, my mind is in need of some special TLC. 

 And yet, there is still part of me that clings to the wrong notion that since my thoughts are my own and since I really don't share everything that I think, then why should it matter really? 
Well, ya'll know that the Lord didn't leave me to that idea for very long.....  In fact He immediately brought scripture after scripture to mind to show me otherwise. 

First of all I was reminded that; 

The same God who loves me, already knows me and ALL my thoughts. 

1 Chronicles 28:9b says, "...for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought...".

and one of my favorite Psalm says,

"You have searched me LORD,
 and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely." 
Psalm 139:1-4

Then I was reminded that;

As a believer in Christ, I am a NEW creation! -Old thoughts no longer have a home in my mind ! 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

It's at this point that I need to say that any attempt to renew my mind all by myself would fail utterly.  I simply don't have the power to cause that kind of change.  However, it is through faith in Jesus Christ that I am made new and free to walk in the fullness of life!   Click here if you would also like to have peace with God.

Then I remembered that as a Christ-follower I need to guard my thoughts because;

 God has a plan, and it is his intention to share it, and since I'd like to be a part of it, I'd better be ready!

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-3

Then finally, I was reminded of a verse that I can use as sort of thought-guide. I could even give it a little title;

God's guide to how to mind your thoughts!

" 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 5:8

I find that this verse is an EXCELLENT test for me to use to decide IF my line of thinking should be pursued. I also appreciate that these are general definitions, not specific!  That way I can apply this verse in every situation.

I especially like the way that the words true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent and praiseworthy dwell on the heart that motivates the very best of our thinking. 
I love the way that I can pull out any part of this verse as a quick measure any time I am in doubt about the nature of my thoughts. 

Is this thought true?  - This is important as we are vulnerable to lies.
Is this thought noble? – What is the motivation of this thought?
Is this thought right? – According to God’s law is my thinking wrong?
Is this thought pure? – Not, is this thought socially acceptable or popular….
Is this thought lovely? – Often the loveliest things are the simplest.  Am I noticing them?
Is this thought admirable? – or merely a waste of time?
Is this thought excellent? – Here is the motivation for the hard work of full application to a task. 
Is this thought praiseworthy?   - Gratitude for creation that leads us to praise God for what He has done in us and in the lives of others.  
Any teacher will tell you that at least when it comes to establishing meaningful rules for students, that "DO statements" are much more well received than "Don't statements" by students.  Like us, our students are human and don't enjoy being told no.  However, even teachers who like me have learned to spin every command into a positive admonition, will admit that sometimes students really just need a "non-example".

So, being the teacher that I am, I've taken the time to come up with a few antonyms to help me create a sort of opposite verse for my own use because sometimes we need the "DON'Ts" spelled out.
Here is how my verse of non examples might read......

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is untrue, whatever is ignoble, whatever is wrong, whatever is defiled, whatever is ugly, whatever is detestable- if anything is of poor quality or worthy of rebuke - DO NOT think on such things!

Now that I've seen the list of things that I am supposed to avoid I'm starting to understand why we need a DO list instead of just a DON'T list.  By the time I get done riding my mind of the "don'ts", I may find that I am hard pressed to immediately come up with worthy alternatives.

So the Lord provided a list of "think-worthy" things.  

 It's such a great list, that I think I should share it one more time. 

" 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 5:8



Amanda T said...

Great quotes to keep me thinking, thanks!

K'Lee Banks said...

Hi! Stopping by from the UBC and Facebook - LOVE this post!! I'm glad to see other bloggers including Scripture and inspirational content in their posts.

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 16:3 - Commit your works to the Lord so your thoughts can be established.

To me, this speaks to the idea of de-cluttering the mind - getting an "Action Plan" from God so things run smoothly!

Thanks - bookmarking your blog! :-)

grammargirl93 said...

Great stuff, Bonnie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on God's thoughts. You're a blessing!