Read Philippians Chapter 4
Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.
Our minds are a marvelous creation of our Father. It is said that we only use a small portion of our brains in a lifetime. I wish we could utilize them to the fullest. Perhaps the Lord wanted to leave us room to always be learning more for the entirely of our lives. It’s a strange thing to think of, that we have such a great capacity of thinking and learning.
One thing over which we do have the ability to control is what we think about. That’s not necessarily true all the time, but is generally true. For example, if we were being held up by a robber, we would have little choice but to be thinking about how the scene was going to end. But that is an extreme example.
When we go to work, we force our brains to concentrate on the task which we have been assigned. If we fail to do that, we won’t do a good job, and perhaps we won’t have a job for very long. When we work a crossword puzzle or play a video game, we force our brains to concentrate on the task at hand. We could think of hundreds of other examples when we have the ability to control what we think about.
In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul asks us to force our minds to concentrate on spiritual, Godly things. He asks that we think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. It sounds like a simple request on the surface, but as we dig deeper we may find that this is a very difficult task. You see, we live in a world which continually begs us to think only on things which are totally opposite of the things Paul listed.
Yesterday, we mentioned a young man who was having a very difficult time turning his mind away from porn. That would describe many SSA men, and some women. Others of us are obsessed with other aspects of SSA. In all cases, the trouble is that we have great difficulty forcing our minds to think on the things which Paul lists. This world presents many opportunities to turn our thoughts toward things that are untrue, ignoble, wrong, impure, unlovely, not admirable, and not praiseworthy. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a dilemma on our hands!
There is not going to be an easy solution to this problem. Anyone who is completely or partially trapped by any of these unholy obsessions or addictions will have to force himself begin taking steps toward adhering to Paul’s admonition. Some men start by posting scripture passages around his environment; the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc., and perhaps especially on some visible part of the computer. If we can think about Paul’s list for five minutes here and five minutes there, and increase that to ten minutes, gradually increasing our ability to think on things above, that would be a good start.
Another suggestion would be to start training our minds to look at same-sex genders in a different way than we wish. We can begin to see them as a creation of God, belonging solely and completely to Him. We can train our minds to see the spiritual side of each man or woman. Within each physical body, there is an eternal spirit; one which is currently bound for Heaven or one which is currently bound for Hell. It would be well within Paul’s guidelines for us to be concerned over a man or woman’s spiritual needs. It won’t be easy to train our mind to think this way, but we will never accomplish that feat if we don’t start somewhere, and persist until such time as we are adept at it.
That said, we are likely to be always be tempted to turn our minds back toward the unacceptable ways of thought. We will spend a lifetime perfecting our ability to “think on things above.” Let us remember that our Lord has given us great power to control our minds. We have no excuses for our transgressions, but we thank Him for grace and mercy that atones for them.
Col 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Prayer: Lord, will we ever have this problem completely solved? We pray to You today, asking You to help us think on Godly things and help us take our minds off those things which are not in accordance with Your wisdom and instruction. We are weak, but You know our hearts. You know that down deep inside, we want to be done with our wrong ways of thinking. Cleanse our hearts and minds; set them on a course of purity and Godly purpose. Also, we thank You for Your grace and mercy, which takes away our guilt and shame over our failures.