Today while I was doing my Bible Journaling, I was using the Just For Today devotional that TCT, the ministry I used to work for, gives to their viewers. Today’s entry was focused on Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (NASB)
God really hit me hard with this one. As I said in a previous post, I have always had a problem with how I see myself. Unfortunately, it also extends to how I perceive things. Someone may say something in a way that I may take one way, and they’re thinking in a completely different vane than I perceive it. I have had a tendency to look on the negative more than the positive. I say things as I see them, and that is not always a good thing. A lot of times my mouth is running before my brain is in gear, and that can, and often does, get me into a heap of trouble.
God so plainly told me, “You HAVE to change the way you think!” For me, change is hard. I don’t like change, no matter what kind of change, it is no fun, and often I will balk at having to do something differently. When I get stressed, or my life is in turmoil, the negative comes out easily, and at that point, I can’t see any positive. That usually comes out in my speech, and a lot of times in anger.
So, how do I change? I have to make a conscious choice to think differently. When I seem something that I don’t like…my tendency is to voice it, and that’s my default setting. So to change, I have to make a choice…do I say something or just shut my mouth. When someone asks if I like something, and I really don’t, or I see flaws, if I say, “Oh, that looks really nice!” I feel like I’m lying. In the household I grew up in…lying was a cardinal sin….didn’t make any difference what the lie was…that drew the wrath of my father. So, I learned to tell it like I saw it. This is the hardest thing for me. I want to be truthful, but at the same token, I don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. This is where God’s help is needed. I have to stop, think about how I would feel if someone said what I’m about to say, to me, ask God to help me speak the truth in love, or just decide to say something I can find that’s a positive note.
The other thing I noticed about this verse is that I am to DWELL on these positive things. That means I have to kind of sit on each attribute…is it lovely, is it true, is it honorable…etc. That means, search out these attributes in everything. Consistently, and maybe constantly, look for, seek, dig into, these positive traits. Make a conscious choice to look for the positive, and then have that positivity seep into my vocabulary, into my daily conversation.
My daily prayer must be, “Lord, help me to think on the good, the lovely, the truth, the things of good repute, looking for things that are praiseworthy.” I noticed in the following verse, that if I follow this course of action, then God gives me a promise. He will grant me peace, and will be with me. The promise comes only after I have practiced what He wants me to do.
I have a lot of work ahead of me. I hope this has touched someone today. My purpose in writing this blog, is to hopefully encourage someone as I walk out my faith and try to learn the lessons God is bringing before me. Be Blessed!