photo credit -the more you think lovely thoughts
Wow it has been too long since I have posted. Today we finish up this passage we have been studying. Were going to start with verse 8, 8Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Wow that sounds like a tall order, and yet isn't that what we really want? Don't we really want to believe the best of others and have them believe the best of us. Yet that doesn't always happen does it, on either part?
We are only accountable for our own actions. When we stand before God it won't matter that they never forgave us or whatever. It only matters that we forgave them. They will be accountable for their own.
So verse 8 is truly directions on how to live our lives, and we must desire to do so if we want to be obedient to God. When our thoughts are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, they are from the evil one, satan. So we have to think through the love of Christ.
When I start on my soap box I try and stop immediately and ask God to help me with my thoughts. Sometimes my immediately isn't as soon as it should be, and I have to ask God for forgiveness. When I really live by verse 8 my peace is inevitable, and that is what I am striving for.
Sometimes my hardest person to have this kind of thinking towards is myself. Are you with me here? I was getting my hair cut the other day by my dear friend and she was telling me how she was sharing with a friend how upset she was with herself, and the friend said "wait, wait, give yourself the same grace you would give someone else here. If someone else was telling you this same story, you would be saying oh that is so not true and you are a wonderful person and so on." Amazing advice from a wonderful Godly woman that gets verse 8. Grace is what it is all about. We can't possibly think this way if we don't give others grace. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she is hurting real bad and I need to pray for her, maybe......we don't know what is going on in peoples lives, what they are struggling with.
Several years ago I went through a time where I yelled at my kids, I wanted to throw in the towel on my marriage, withdrew from many things, and cried at the tip of a hat. Yet deep inside me I knew this wasn't me and I didn't want to be this way. I prayed and prayed, then God led me to a unexpected meeting with a women I knew from church and we got to talking and I shared with her about this, I was desperate. She said have you had your hormones checked? Hormones? I had no idea what she was talking about, I knew what hormones was, but I didn't know you could have them checked, say nothing about that I should. She told me about a doctor who did this, and wow what a difference.
So we have to give ourselves and others grace, even our husbands, they also have hormone issues as well. It's not always hormones, it can be many things as we all know. God gives us grace through so much and we are called to do the same.
I'm going to put verse 8 throughout my house, and work on it even more then I already have. Verse 9 gives me that promise. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. I want the God of peace to be with me always.
I just want to share a little story with you that was told to us, about this passage at a ladies convention. She said her little boy, I think age 8 or somewhere around there was reading this passage in Sunday school, devotional time or something and she asked him what it meant to him. He thought on it for a while and then came back with "I have rocks in my head and I need to replace them." What, rocks in your head? "Ya mom the bad thoughts are like rocks in my head and I need to replace them with true thoughts, noble thoughts, and so on." Cute way to think of it, but he got it. We all have rocks in our head, we have to make the decision to remove them and replace them with lovely thinking. Who can you change your thinking on today, and show them grace?