Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Beautiful Mind

When I read this week's quote, I could not resist taking a moment to share my thoughts on this powerful passage. The entire chapter of Philippians is one that I’ve been challenged by every time I read it.

I've probably seen this scripture quoted on more plaques, pictures and wall hangings then any other. It provides clear instructions for us to use as a filter to consider what we allow to fill our hearts and minds. It offers a guideline for our choices, and direction for how and where we invest our time.

Henry Blackaby wrote in his devotional Experiencing God…

“What you think about in your unguarded moments reflects what your mind dwells upon. What you speak about when your guard is down is a good gauge of what is in your heart” (Matt. 12:34).

How important are our minds to God? David said, "You perceive my thoughts from afar" (Psa. 139:2). I think it is safe to say that God is very concerned about what fills our thoughts each and everyday. In this passage, Paul was giving the believers in Philippi instructions that their thoughts, and thus their lives, should always be yielded to the Spirit of God and His Word. These believers were surrounded by a pagan society, in many ways not very different from our own, and he knew they would be challenged to live up to these Godly standards.

In practical terms, one thing I try to ask myself throughout the day is, “Does this music I am listening to, the TV program or movie I am watching, or the conversation I am engaged in meet the criteria Paul gave us in Philippians 4:8?”

Really we know what God requires, because as believers we have the Holy Spirit within us a guide. The test is simple, but getting a passing grade and living it out daily is not always so easy. In a word, the basic question is, “Does it bring glory to God?” In order to bring Glory to God the answer should always be “Yes” to each of these questions. Is it…

•Of good report?
Worthy of praise?

These are the standards we should use to judge our thoughts and actions. If we judge our own actions, we will never have to worry about being judged by others.

It's often too easy to become discouraged and allow negative and destructive thoughts to enter into our minds. To have my thoughts and actions be the kind that are edifying to both myself and others is my personal goal. Ultimately, the choice is up to each us.

“Lord, help me to renew my mind daily. Give me eyes to see your beauty and holiness to live each day. Give me a discerning and sensitive spirit to always choose to reject that which tries to destroy my peace and joy. Allow me to pursue that which is noble, and enjoy the things that are beautiful as I walk daily with you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Please join us at Nina's today. Thanks for stopping by♥


Heather@Mommymonk said...

I love the plaque you posted too. "A beautiful mind" - great title too :) I want to have this plaque in my home. It is written on my heart, but my stubborn heart needs reminding reqularly.

Tracy said...

Amen! I echo the prayer of your heart. This is truly something I need to continuously keep at the forefront of my mind. Thank you for challenging and inspiring me today.


Sheryl said...

Amen, Susan! First of all, I want to tell you how much I appreciate you. You are such a blessing to me. As you know, to live according to these verses is a daily choice for me. As I want to say something damaging or think something hateful, God gently reminds me. He is in control and if I believe that there's no room for anything else in my mind.

I only want to think on those things that are praiseworthy.


luvmy4sons said...

Great words of wisdom to live by. A very high standard to achieve but so worth the effort.

Suzie Eller said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today, Susan. It's always nice to meet a new friend. : )

Tami Boesiger said...

So often I come to your blog or think of you and it gives me an "aaah" feeling. There is a sense of serenity surrounding you. No doubt your commitment to this verse has been a part of this.

But can I admit my struggle to you? (You make me feel safe enough to do so.) As much as I'd like to believe this statement--"If we judge our own actions, we will never have to worry about being judged by others," I haven't seen it play out in my real life. I AM judged by others and have done so myself and find it so disheartening. I know it is Satan distracting us and trying to disrupt our unity. I know it is his way of discouraging me from saying anything or holding to any opinions or doing what God has gifted me to do and yet it weighs on me so heavily.


It seems there is no easy answer to this. I guess this is what perseverance is about, huh? I must say your comments on my blog yesterday were refreshing to me. Thanks for seeing past my inadequate words to my heart.

May God bless you for your sweet spirit, my friend.

Love you,

lori said...

I JUST made it over.....
and now I know why it was now....
That quote...here...I got it..

“What you think about in your unguarded moments reflects what your mind dwells upon. What you speak about when your guard is down is a good gauge of what is in your heart” (Matt. 12:34).

WHEW...I LOVE that...I am certain that it's in the unguarded moments that we are truly revealed...
What a blessing YOU are...that is perfect...I love the plaque...wouldn't it be great by the door..to remind us in our coming and going!

OK...you know I'd love to get into some creative line....I would LOVE to try and sell some of these on cards and such..I really would..God knows that...PROBLEM...I (or Scott) don't know where to begin....

I just keep praying that if doors are meant to open...then Lord fling em' wide open!!!

you are just too nice to me!!;)
hugs girlfriend!

Cheryl said...

Hey Susan,

There are so many verses in Philipians that I love. This was a really great post. And so true. If what is in our mind is what should be, we are covered in all areas. I strive daily to achieve these goals. How we live our lives are examples to the world!

Thank you so so much for your prayers for Jan and your sweet words. We can make it through this with Christ. My heart is so heavy for her at this time. She's not getting the support she should from her sons. Please pray for them. They are not where they should be.

Kelley said...

I did a word study on this verse last year. I was feeling cranky and dedicated a page in my journal to each of the words listed. I went through the bible and found all references to "true" "noble" "right"....and I listed them on the appropriate page. I also looked up their definitions in both the secular dictionary & the Bible dictionary. I learned some very interesting things. One fact that stood out to me was that "whatever is true can be applied to all of the other categories as well. That isn't necessarily the case with the other lists." I guess that just showed me how important "truth" is!!

Great post Susan, and thanks for your sweet comments at my site, I love seeing your smile each day!!


ps. the cookie dough is from Sam's Club.

Lelia Chealey said...

Okay, twice in one week I read something on this passage....and thoughts is something I've been struggling with. OH boy...need to re-read this.
Love you Susan!

Johnson Party of seven! said...

You are so inspiring! I just love you to death!!! Thanks for coming here and sharing your heart!

Jill Johnson