Why is he wearing tennis shoes to church? Oh no, not that same ratty old hoody. How embarrassing. These are some of the thoughts that go through my head every Sunday.
How does your Sunday go?
Does it feel like everything gets on your nerves on the car ride in to Church? I mean seriously – that snake comes out in full force to steal my Peace each week.
We are in a series on Philippians 4:8 and Peace of Mind. Click on any of the words to go back in the study 😉
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
Today’s word requires a Question: Is this thought Lovely?
You could also ask Is there an acceptable, pleasing quality to this thought about that person or situation?
To think this way, we must learn to see past the outside of people, the way God does (1 Samuel 16:7). I love that about God’s character – he looks at the inside of a person (our heart, intention, character, etc.)
Can we look at the lovely things on the inside of a person?
That is such a challenging habit to cultivate. Sort of like an Acquired taste.
Do you ever try new foods? My youngest daughter has food allergies and to meet her needs we’ve had to adjust our diet -drastically!
The biggest challenge is the dairy allergy. We have to be intentional to supplement the vitamins and minerals we were missing and stay healthy.
Introducing the amazing power team of Super Foods! Almonds, Cashews, Kale, Spinach and Avocado came rushing into our life. Most of this Power Team taste fine and were easy to add… but Avocado?!?!?!?
Avocado is green, gooey, had a funny smell and I wasn’t even sure how to open the thing at first.
That first green gooey taste was absolutely gross. None of us liked it… except the daughter in question (Score!) and she wouldn’t keep eating it if we didn’t.
This one gross green super food had so many of the things we needed – so we kept trying it. Day after day, for weeks and months we would at least eat a bite of Avocado. Until one day it had become our favorite treat.
Thinking on whatever is lovely requires us to look on the inside of people
Looking on the inside of others -instead of the outward appearance – is like eating Avocado. We have to acquire the taste for this discipline. If we keep at it, eventually it becomes natural and leads to Peace of mind (Galatians 6:9).
How do we Acquire the Taste for Thinking Whatever is Lovely?
We have to be Intentional to make a plan
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
There will always be things to think negatively about and criticize. We have to look more diligently to find the good in people and situations.
What is interesting about this is that the more I seek out the good in others, the more easily I find it.
But I have to deliberately choose to set aside negative/anxious thoughts or it won’t happen.
Back to my example about Sunday morning. I was that woman losing her religion in order to get the family into the Church building -every week!
As I applied this practice to my thought life I began to see a change on Sunday morning first.
Instead of quickly noticing that hubby was wearing beat up old tennis shoes to church I Chose:
- To look deeper and be grateful that after working a graveyard shift he got up and got ready at all.
- See that his heart wanted to be in God’s house, while his mind was not really thinking through my preferred wardrobe choice.
This is one example, but this question truly helped me step out of the habit of criticism and anxiety.
When I am thinking on Whatever is lovely – focused on the beauty within others, I am living with Peace of Mind.
Can I be very honest with you? This wasn’t easy.
There was another step along the way that made it all possible. Forgiveness.
Part of my struggle with criticism and negative thoughts was that I had not forgiven some things… I was holding onto them – stuck and destroying so many relationship in my life with the toxic bitterness I was trapped in. God walked me through a Pathway to Forgiveness that lead to Freedom and movement in my walk with Christ again! I’d love to share that pathway with you in this Free E-Challenge.
Ps… You are in the middle of a series on Peace of Mind. To read the first post, click here “A Piece of my Mind or Peace of Mind”