“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 4:8)
Eugene Peterson has a marvellous paraphrase: “ I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…”
The very opposite to this is allowing your mind to fill with grudges, grievances and all manner of hurts. And it’s vital that we don’t give voice to those upsets. All of us get offended from time to time, and the circumstances of that offence can roll across our minds like the ball in a pinball machine, pressing all the buttons, lighting up the brain in a frenzy of response.
I have to “silence the voice of the accuser” and “bring every thought captive to Christ” by not speaking out that upset. Once it is spoken out it develops into criticism. We are so susceptible. Jesus said “It is impossible but that offences will come…” (Luke17:1). It’s bound to happen. But once I speak the offence out, a chain of thinking begins that prevents God’s renewal of my mind.
So I start by rehearsing verses like today’s word in my mind instead of the hurt until the truth of God’s word gets bigger and my moment of hurt gets smaller.
Today I simply want to magnify you, my Lord, and not magnify the negative stuff that sometimes comes my way. I want You on my mind…