It’s March 15th and time for the 3rd verse of our Scripture Memory Challenge! For March I’ve chosen:
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy–dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
My women’s group recently finished a Bible study on joy, from the Biblical book of Job. Yes, Job and Joy. I knew Job’s story, and joy was not what I associated with it. But Job: A Story of Unlikely Joy (by Lisa Harper) changed those ideas of what Job has to offer. It IS about joy – true joy – no matter what. This week our women’s group continues looking at Joy as we begin Defiant Joy (by Candace Payne). In preparation for this study, I’ve spent some time with Philippians 4:8. So it is fitting that’s the verse I chose for my March Memory Verse.
8 Point Thoughts Evaluation
We can’t always control the thoughts that enter our mind, but we CAN control which ones stay there. What we think on eventually influences our decisions, our actions, and our life’s direction. Even if we passively dwell on whatever pops into our minds – positive or negative – we are still choosing what remains in our minds. We choose to review and rewind those thoughts – or to replace the negative ones with “good” ones.
Philippians 4:8 provides a prescription for God’s peace – an 8-point standard of measure, by which we can assess our thoughts. Below are these 8 points as questions. Evaluate your thoughts. Ask yourself these 8 questions. Decide which thoughts get to reside in your mind – and which ones are immediately evicted.
- Is it TRUE?
- Is it HONORABLE? (Honest and Worthy of Respect)
- Is it JUST? (Right and Confirmed by God’s Word)
- Is it PURE? (Pure and Wholesome)
- Is it LOVELY? (Amiable and Brings Peace)
- Is it COMMENDABLE? (Admirable, of Good Report, and Gracious)
- Is it MORALLY EXCELLENT? (Virtuous)
- Is it PRAISE WORTHY?
Thoughts that do not demand a YES answer to these standards need to go. Immediately. The longer negative, destructive thoughts live in our minds, the deeper rooted they become, and the harder they are to evict. Kick them out now, but remember – be intentional to replace them with “good” thoughts that fit our criteria above. We can only squeeze out the bad by soaking up the good until there is no space for the bad to remain!
Until next week,