“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, NIV
Are you like me? At one point I’m focused on healthy, happy, admirable things and then BAM! A negative thought about myself, or someone else, pops up in my mind like a web link icon saying, “Follow Me.” If I’m not careful I’ll click on that thing and I’m following that thought down a path I never intended to go; carrying on fruitless conversations in my head about meaningless matters. Before I know it, I’m frustrated and full of anxiety over something that may not even be reality.
Does this sound familiar to you?
The solution seems simple; just don’t click. But, if you’re like me that isn’t always easy to do. Sometimes the negative thoughts we have come from the need to work out hurtful situations, or unresolved conflicts with others, in our minds. It could be that we are struggling with something from our past, or we’re feeling guilt over something we’ve said or done. The possibilities are endless.
So, how do we overcome the negative thoughts that pop in our head?
I love this passage of scripture in Philippians because it speaks to this head noise that we all have, and it gives us a way out. Not only did Paul understand that we would deal with negative thoughts continually parading around in our mind, he offered a tangible solution to the problem: Think on positive things.
Like the Bible says to, “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5, NIV) we need to set our minds on what is true (about ourselves and others), what is right (righteous, following God’s commands), what is pure (clean, chaste, pure from carnality, exciting reverence), what is lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy…and think on these things instead.
“Lord, help me to stop clicking on negative thinking that pops in my mind. Help me keep my mind on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy for your sake. Amen!”