Posted by: S. L. Doss | November 24, 2013

Principles to Live By #4

KEEP MIND AND HEART PURE BY THINKING AND MEDITATING ON GOOD THINGS

The last principle talked about casting down imaginations, which can be done through prayer and reading God’s Word. This helps us in turn to think good thoughts, to dwell on positives, to keep our mind stayed on Jesus.

Have you ever “gotten up on the wrong side of the bed?” You wake up growly and no matter what you do, your day just keeps getting worse? What were your first thoughts that morning? Were you running late, so you berated yourself? Did you spill coffee on your suit and had to change? Did you catch a toe on a chair leg?

Our moods are dictated by our thoughts. If we think negatively, we’ll act negatively. It’s that same principle we learned when computers first came on the scene: GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out. Clean code will result in good processes, but junk code, or garbage, will cause data failures and unusable results. Just like an inputter can enter messed up code, so can we let negative thoughts enter our database – our mind. We can entertain bad thoughts, or we can seek out good.

Have you ever been around a person who is never happy? No matter what they have, how God’s blessed them, they always find something to whine and complain about. And if you stay around them long enough, you’ll find yourself becoming the same way.

I’ve experienced this with a close friend of mine. She’d been blessed by God many times, healed, had debts paid, etc. But instead of dwelling on the blessings, she started wearing her heart on her sleeve and believing others were critical of her. Pretty soon, every comment someone made was an attack on her, and she found fault in everything around her. Instead of thinking of how great God was, she thought of how mean others were. It got so bad that I found myself being critical of others around me, too, until I came to my senses and stopped hanging around with her.

On the other hand, if you hang around with a happy person who is always looking at the silver lining instead of the black clouds, you find yourself with more hope that you’ll someday get through this trial. Y0u smile. You are encouraged. you become happy.

Another friend of mine is just such a person. Her husband almost died from work accidents twice. He was hospitalized with an infection that he barely survived, the same disease that killed another friend. Her son fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just missed being caught in an explosion. Her dad was crushed under farm equipment and could have died. All these things could have brought her down, could have driven her to question “why me?” and discouraged her, but through it all she had a smile and a trust that God would see her and her family through. And He did. He saved her dad’s life, her husband’s life, her son’s life. And He has even brought a miracle by taking care of a big chunk of recent hospital bills. When I’m with her, I believe God can do anything.

So how do we get that positive mindset?

Meditate on good things

We need to fill our minds, our “computers,” with good things. Read the Word of God. Meditate on His goodness, His mercy, His presence. We must hang out with friends who are positive. We must read good, uplifting books, watch wholesome movies. We must talk about good things.

Does this mean we can never have a bad day, and if we do, we have failed? No. We are still human after all. We will still have struggles. We will still get down. We will still lose family members through death, or face a job loss or sickness. But if we focus on the positives, see the silver lining, then we will rise above the pain, discouragement, and trouble to live victoriously and peacefully. There’s a song called “Master of the Wind” by Joel Hemphill which talks about how God controls everything, and when we know the “Master of the wind,” we know we’ll make it through. There’s one verse that says it all, “Sometimes I soar like an eagle through the sky,  Above the peaks my soul can be found. An unexpected storm may drive me from the heights,  Brings me low, but never brings me down.” Meditate on God and good things, and you may be brought low by life, but you’ll never be brought down.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

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