Philippians 4:8-9 (New Living Translation)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
I saw a couple of references to this scripture in the comments section on Lysa Terkeurst’s blog this morning. I don’t normally read comments but the topic is “inside chatter” and I was curious to see what other ladies had to say.
As I pulled these verses up I thought well, what if I spent some time practicing each of these? When you read this list it can seem overwhelming. Kind of a sarcastic, snort-inducing reaction may bubble up. Right, like I can ever police my thoughts to this extreme. And so maybe we move on.
I know I have. Many times.
Being honest, a big part of me didn’t feel like writing today. There is surely a gap between the encouragement I long to share and how it actually plays out in my own life some days. The last thing I want to do is preach at everyone else, you know?
So, this post is coming from a “who else is with me in this?” kind of heart. If you, like me, struggle with what Lysa calls your “inside chatter” maybe you will join me
this week, today, in each moment as it comes.
Maybe we can do it together?
Let’s start with what is true. Let’s ask God to interrupt us, moment by moment, with truth in our thinking. Truth being what we know. Not what we assume, what we already thought or what we are trying to figure out or understand. I know I spend a lot of time trying to understand and analyze things. But maybe today, in the midst of asking God for help, He wants to give us a place to start.
When thoughts come let’s filter them for truth. So much of what we think about ourselves and others is really not true. It’s conjecture…assumption…opinion…believing the worst but not really knowing if we are right. We spend a lot of mental energy trying to understand things and figure out what to do.
Maybe God isn’t asking us to try to figure out every little thing. Seems as though He’s telling us to find out what we know to be true and think about that instead. I believe He will help us. Then in time…as we “keep putting into practice” what we are learning, we can move on to ‘honorable.’ Begin to let God help us filter our thoughts for honor. See where I’m going? Where I hope to go?
Hey, one more thing. My Pastor, Matt Fry, said something yesterday that really meant something to me. I want to share it with you guys because I think it could help us in filtering our thoughts for Truth. He was talking about how Holy Spirit convicts our heart and that is a good thing! It’s a good sign when we feel conviction. But Holy Spirit does not condemn or accuse us. Here is what Pastor said:
Conviction is specific. Condemnation is general.
Jesus will convict me with specificity but the devil will condemn me with generalities. Jesus might convict my heart about the specific way I spoke to my child, for instance, but the devil will condemn me that I’m just a terrible mother.
Hope that helps. Helped me. I feel like I can use that as a filter for truth, you know?
It is with a very humble heart I write this morning…and with a humble heart I ask that you make these more than just words. I don’t want to write words that are just words. I don’t want to do this just for the sake of doing it. So I ask that you work in me, in the way I think and my own “inside chatter.” Help me, moment by moment, to filter my thoughts for truth. And if the stuff I’m thinking is not truth, help me to choose to think of what is true. Help me to replace assumption, presumption, past thoughts, opinions and analyzing at Your feet. I’m going to look for truth today and when I don’t know what’s true I’m going to look to Your Word and then trust that if and when You want me to know something more You will show me. Father, I also want to pray for any readers who long for peace. Anyone who recognizes their own “inside chatter” is defeating them and not producing peace. Help us to walk this journey together. Help us to build one another up in prayer and support. If it be Your design, let a sense of community stir in our hearts as we share here. As we bravely search for peace and think about what is true. In Your name, Jesus.