When talking to a friend last week about how her mind gets stuck on a negative thought, I told her that she has to take every thought captive – change the channel in her mind so to speak – focus on Philippians 4:8. She told me that she was unable to do that. So I suggested that maybe a list to read would help since in her agitated state wasn’t able to think about other things. I suggested that she should work on making a list of things that would qualify under the standards of Philippians 4:8.
…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Love, beauty, scripture, God’s promises to His faithful children, being a blessing to others, the goodness of life, hard work performed for God with excellence, God’s blessings poured out on us, laughter, joy, peace, humility, self-control, selfless sacrifice for others, etc.
I personally didn’t have such a list. So I took my own advice today.
Sometimes (not so frequently now – praise God for changing me) I’m not fit to be around people – I let my irritability win – I give it license to spout off with anger and ugliness; generally on those closest to me. I don’t like that lady. I don’t have to be that lady. God is changing me. His ways, lived out, are reshaping my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Grace rules, His peace rules in my heart.
I told my friend that, although she didn’t care about the consequence she would have to pay for choices made in anger, her consequences weren’t just paid by her, but they’d also be paid by all those people around her who love her; innocent bystanders that she would put in harm’s way.
Lord Jesus, help me to understand that my words and actions are powerful weapons to be used to destroy or to build up. Help me use them to destroy evil and to build up those around me to walk in Your ways. Thank You for the reminder that our words matter, our thoughts matter, our actions matter to You. Amen.
Be wise in your choice of words. Be encouraged. Press on.