PHILIPPIANS 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: I think it is time for me to go on a mind diet! In the current culture we live in I feel like my mind is overloaded and bloated with too many narratives. I am not advocating putting my head in the sand and ignoring the world around me. What I am advocating is some wisdom in what I allow to occupy my thoughts and give my emotional energy to.
Just the other day I was rushing off for a quick lunch before returning to my office and resuming work. As I drove to get my takeout and eat it in the car, I turned on the news. I listened to it for about 15 minutes and by the time I was done I knew that I needed to go on a mind diet! With the upcoming election cycle, I have been listening more and more. And, what I have found, is that my mind has slowly begun to be filled with anxiety in the process. I feel like a balloon that has sprung a leak. I see my peace evaporating!
This made me think about my dear grandmother. We called her Nanny. She was my mother’s mother. Nanny was a very interesting lady. She was one who was not short of an opinion. And, she did not like to talk about religion or politics. This did not mean she would not talk about the Lord. However, she did not like the debate between strongly opposing positions. Nanny did not like it when she thought others were being harshly critiqued. You see, Nanny always saw the good in everyone.
I think we have lost this ability in our culture today. We see only the vilest and dissonant in those who oppose our viewpoint. I am not ignorant. I know that evil exists and that the prince of this world is working to destroy lives. However, even as Jesus hung upon the cross, and as He viewed those who had beaten and nailed Him to the cross, He was able to say – “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”
Why can’t we see the good in the “other side?” I think it is because we are not focusing on the good at all. We are focusing on all the disagreements and deficiencies in life. Consider again the words of Philippians 4:8.
- “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
I need to look for the truth. I need to embrace that which is noble. I need to uphold justice and strive for purity. I need to appreciate things that are lovely and of good report. When I see virtue, I need to celebrate it. When something is worthy to be praised, even when it is in the so-called “other side.” I need to extend honor. This is the mind diet I so desperately need. I need to seek, discover, celebrate, and meditate on these things.
Recently, I have begun posting on Facebook the things that we all hold in familiarity. We can do this about our faith and we can do this about our nation. As a believer, we all rejoice that Jesus Christ is Lord and we are part of His body – the church. We all hold this in common.
- “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV
As Americans, I think we need to do the same thing. As we continue to tear one another down, as we focus on all that is wrong, forgetting all that is good and to be praised, we set ourselves up for a fall. This type of mind diet does not produce unity or change. It only fosters enmity and division. We tried that once. It was called the Civil War. We do not want to repeat this again.
When I am actively participating in this mind diet I am able to discuss openly and honestly issues with people that, in position, I am diametrically opposed to. I can look for the good in their opinion and seek a middle ground where we can together work towards positive change and reform. Yet, in the process, my mind is protected. I am always looking for the best, always trying to find the just, and positioned to celebrate goodness and virtue.
Yes, I think it is time that I go on a mind diet!
Lord, this morning I choose to renew my mind in Your Word. I choose to focus on that which is true, noble, just, pure, good, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Grant me the grace to stay on this diet!
In Jesus Name!