Have you ever got to really thinking about something, kind of spacing out into the distance and then all of the sudden someone says, “Hey, what are you staring at?” Then it’s just awkward because you realize that someone has been watching you zone out into your world of thoughts and you probably looked super weird for who knows how long. Most of the time what are we thinking about? Sure we strategize our daily plans, play out probably situations, and reflect over old ones.
Now, what if your thought life was a book. What would the title be called? I thought about this today. Would mine be “The Excited and Encouraged Thoughts of Kaytlynd”? Or would it sound something like, “The Silly Worries and Complaints of Kaytlynd”? It really got me thinking…
Now, honestly… The title of my thoughts would probably fit more under the title of “The Chronicles of Randomness.” But all goofiness aside, it got me thinking about what our thoughts should be shaped around. When was the last time you sat around thinking about all the great things that are happening? When was the last time you really took a second to analyze all the good and getting excited about it?
So many times our eyes are so fixed on pointing out all the things that are going wrong. It’s like a game we are trained to play, and we don’t even realize we are playing it. Constantly our minds are pointing out what’s not going our way or what’s challenging. It’s totally normal to have a running tally going in our minds of all that’s not going right.
It is honestly amazing how perfectly Philippians 4 speaks to every angle of this.
Philippians 4:8-9 says:
“…Fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. 9 Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me—do it—and the God of peace will walk with you.” (The voice translation)
You may be thinking, ok I got it- think good thoughts. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to just change your mindset. So my first question in reading this was, HOW? Crazy enough, the verses directly before these in Philippians 4 answer that question.
Philippians 4:4-7 says:
“Most of all, friends, always rejoice in the Lord! I never tire of saying it: Rejoice! 5 Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us. 6 Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. 7 And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.” (the voice translation)
So how do we help our thoughts be more positive?
PRAYER. We have to take all of it and shape it into prayers. We take the good, the bad, the hopes, the dreams, the worries, the memories, the comments, the internal dialogue- ALL OF IT…shaped into prayers. And it says to FILL our minds with good things. This starts with reading the Bible and spending time with Jesus.
Hebrews 12 says to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS.
When we decide to start filling our minds with the word, our focus won’t be on a list of what’s going wrong. When we are turning our thoughts into prayers, we are deciding to look at Jesus. What we focus on is what becomes our thoughts. What are you staring at?