“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”Philippians 4:9
If you are anything like me, then you have had many a battle waged in your mind. We think on things more than we should and can draw conclusions that are simply not true. Our mind can be a dark place if we allow negative things to fester, and we are truly affected by what we think and dwell on. I have come to know that when I give things to God, my mind is in a far better place, and I am not plagued by bad thoughts or evil surmisings.
I recall a former boss who made my life miserable. I once said “good morning” to him and he scowled at me, so I was careful not to say it again. Two weeks later, I went past him and he angrily stated, “Good morning Rosendo!” It seemed everyday merited a different response, and I was unsure how to react to my boss. I would show up on time and he would call me annoying for not being early. In my first month on the job, he gave me freezer duty and had me reorganize everything in the walk-in freezer. He brought appropriate clothes for the freezer, but he failed to tell me to bring some of my own. When I shivered at lunch, he laughed and simply considered it an appropriate rite of passage into the retail world.
He had gotten into my head and I thought about him all the time. I started to lose hair and I was an emotional wreck. I would pull into work and see his car and my stomach would cringe. It seemed like anywhere I went in the store, he was always there. I went home and he remained in my mind and I could not seem to shake his presence. I seemed to have no reprieve from him, and I allowed him to haunt me day and night. I thoughts evil thoughts of him and ways I could get revenge. I am ashamed to think of all the evil things my flesh wanted to do as I sought to rid him out of my life and mind. I will say it was a rough two years, but God taught me many things through that time.
I prayed for a new boss and then began to pray for my boss. I was finding that when evil thoughts came into my mind, I would pray for him. Prior to this type of prayer, I was just praying for reprieve and comfort, but God changed my thinking on how I should pray. I soon got a different boss, but my old boss was still around for several months. Although my thoughts and prayers were not always perfect, my hair grew back and God began to give me my peace back.
I think of these verses, and I am convicted by my wrong thoughts which so easily turn to wrong actions. The mind is where the battle is waged, and what we dwell on influences us in a big way. The verses above serve as a checklist of the things we are to think and dwell upon. When thoughts come to your mind and overwhelm you, you must disregard them if they do not line up to this checklist. It would not hurt to have a 3×5 card laminated in your pocket to which you can refer when wrongs thoughts threaten to occupy your mind. The battle of the flesh is waged in the mind, and we must be vigilant to dispel those thoughts with God’s truth and prayer. We are not to be full of care, but rather be prayerful about everything. We can have no peace if we don’t give things to God, and He longs to give us comfort and rest. Oh, how this world seeks peace in all of its turmoil! The answer for all eternity has been and continues to be God.
Where are you today friend? Do you seek peace and rest? Do you find your mind racing with thoughts that do not line up with this checklist? Do you find yourself struggling physically, emotionally, and spiritually with the unrestful thoughts in your mind? Have you cried out to God for the peace only He can give? God may choose to not change your circumstances, but He will change and renew your mind. He is acquainted with grief and He longs to bring peace and comfort to us, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Prayer is a powerful tool that we often neglect to use, but it is life-changing when we do. Will you wrestle with your mind or will you find peace, rest and comfort today?