CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Clearing your Mind
Banishing Bad Memories and Sinful Thoughts
By Dr. Ron Tardif (D.Div. C.C.)
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Continued from Page One
Now, you may think that this verse is isolated and I am reading into it what I want to believe. However, the Holy Spirit told Paul to keep writing on the topic. So, we continue the train of thought — the context — and go onto verse 8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Philippians 4:8Which again, promises that if you do as God commands, you will have peace. See verse 9:
Whatever 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. Philippians 4:9 [Emphasis added]Since God wants you to have peace — His peace — try out this assignment:
Read Philippians 4:8. There you will find 8 items that God wants you to think about. I will bold them to help you find them:
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Philippians 4:8Now take a 3x5 card and write down the eight words that you are to think about. Under each word, list five things that either describe God or what God has done for you that can be characterized by that word. Once completed, you will have 40 words of "think about such things" to think about.
Why do all this? So that you can claim peace that God promises you in the very next verse:
Whatever 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. Philippians 4:9 [Emphasis added]Carry this 3x5 card with you (at least until you have the 40 words memorized). When you find yourself having intrusive thoughts, pull out the card, pick one of the 40 words that you have previously jotted down, and meditate on them. If you run out of thoughts on that word, pull out the card and pick another word. The object is to force your brain to think on the things you want to think about and not allow it to randomly select junk for you to dwell on. When you see a person or distraction of some sort that used to trigger these thoughts, don't shy away from them. Begin to build a new "friendly" library in your brain of good things. Think on the things that are good and the intrusive procedure will subside and eventually go away!
You can't think on more than one thing at a time. Oh you may be able to walk and chew gum, but you can't multiplex multiple topics at a time. Case in point: The other night, I woke up around 3 am. I began to pray for folks and the multiple needs they have. All of a sudden, I heard a gunshot (we live outside of city limits). Do you think I could go back to prayer? I was up and going from window to window, wondering what was going on outside. My thoughts of the previous several minutes were gone. I was now focusing on new thoughts that wouldn't go away until my curiosity was quenched. Think on God, and you will be at total peace. Think on gunshots and your sleep is over.
You may be asking, "How can we 'think about such things'?" Man's inventions have created chaos in the brain: radio 1895, TV 1925, computers 1941, internet 1982, Bluetooth ear buds 1994, chat rooms 2007, not like 100 years ago. Turn them off! (at least for a few hours). Seldom do people sit and think anymore. Get back to basics. Get back to God, and enjoy His peace that He wants you to have. You will have to work at it as satan (small s intended) wants your attention. He wants your body and your brain (see Ephesians 6:12). He can't have your soul (see Romans 8), but he will try to render you useless in this world, to shut you down. Ministry is priority #5 for you in this world. Don't let satan take your ministry away. Think on good things, and you will be a shining light to those around you — your family members, your co-workers, your neighbors, fellow church folk, etc.
Happy thoughts? Happy life. People will want what you have. Tell them about Jesus and what He is doing for you. That's your ministry — at least, one of them.
Image Credit: Tachina Lee; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life
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Published on 4-4-17