Thoughts Matter

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), 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 4:8

You can travel with a man for several hours with a hundred words or less spoken. It could be he is thinking of something or he could easily be relishing thinking of nothing at all. I imagine there are times when I am not thinking about anything, but most of the time there is something going on in my head, even though it may not seem like it. I have a love-hate relationship with running because it is a time when I can think, and I get some of my best ideas while I find air for my lungs and muscles. My thoughts have not always been constructive and they have sometimes gotten me in trouble.

I have had thoughts that were not constructive and thoughts that most likely were not even true. My imagination has run wild with thoughts when I felt I was mistreated or I thought people were speaking ill of me. I have also had thoughts about God that were not true, and I listened to the whisperings of the devil. I have heard this well-known verse many times before and I have even committed it to memory, but at times, fail to apply it. I have advised others to make a laminated 3×5 card with this verse and always keep it in their pocket or wallet. I need to follow my own advice and pull this verse out when I am tempted to think the opposite of what it commands me to.

I think back to times in my marriage and dating life with my wife when my runaway thoughts led to big fights. It could have been a civil conversation we were having that I thought too much about what was said, or a conversation where I just surmised that she said something that she did not even say. As I let these thoughts fester in my mind, I became a prisoner to them and would simply would not let them go. It would sometimes take hours or days for me to get past my own thoughts and I would leave a wake of destruction behind. I am learning to align my thoughts with truth and what God would have me to think about it. I recently was tested in my thinking when there was a change at my work.

I was informed that I would be getting a new boss, which bummed me out as I liked my boss. The new boss was announced, and I remember her from the time she was my coach when I first started at my company. I did not have any beef with her per se, but she used to intentionally, albeit jokingly, call me “Rosenda”. This really irritated me as my real name is Rosendo. Seven years had passed since that time, but as soon as this announcement was made that she would be my boss, my mind brought this memory to the forefront. I was not sure if she was going to continue to call me this or if she had moved past it. My mind began to think on that until I intentionally stopped that unhelpful thinking and determined I would give the relationship a fresh start. We were set to meet again for the first time, and I thought I would jokingly bring this up, but I felt it not wise to do so. I refrained from mentioning her past offense, and we had a pleasant conversation about what she expected of me.

I told my wife of this encounter and how I was asking God to help me think about things that are true, and to have thoughts that are focused on Him and not on my personal feelings or offenses or slights against me. God is helping me give my expectations to Him and not be disappointed when people don’t do the things I think they should do. Thoughts are important and it matters what you think about. We often think people think a certain way about us, when they honestly don’t think about us at all. We work ourselves up about these things when truly we should be meditating on the things listed above in this verse.

What are you thinking about? Have your thoughts gotten you in trouble? Are you always thinking worst-case scenario and not trusting in God? Are your thoughts of tomorrow keeping you at night? Do you think evil of that certain person who rubs you the wrong way? May we apply this verse to our lives, and may we guard our thoughts. Our thoughts matter, and they matter to God. “Think on these things” and experience the peace of God.

Stay in the Fight!

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