As we learned in the SHE believed series, thinking on Truth is a key principle in developing a foundation of trust. It is also the foundation for overcoming worry.
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Philippians 4:8 NIV
If I were to ask you if your thoughts can be described as any of the above (most of the time), I would bet, for a worrier like me, it would be a resounding NO!
The worrier’s version, my version, usually goes something like this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is lies, whatever is awful, whatever could go wrong, whatever is impure, whatever is ugly, whatever is lousy – if anything is disasterly or worthy of complaint – think about such things.
That is the worrier’s motto. And, let’s just say that ain’t Hakuna Matata folks. It’s not a worry-free philosophy. That is certainly NOT thinking on the truth of God’s word. This scripture starts with whatever is TRUE. That’s a great place to begin. There is nothing truer than God’s word. His promises. Meditating on his truth. Placing his Word in our hearts. Then, we can access our situation, our worry, by asking: What is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy about this circumstance, this thought? If we never begin to change our way of thinking, “taking every thought captive” (2 Corinthinas 10:5), we can’t begin to overcome worry and doubt. Ask me how I know! It takes a conscience effort to replace my thoughts. Every day. Sometimes every hour.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this scripture by looking at how these words are defined in other versions:
Whatever is true…authentic, real.
Whatever is noble…honorable, respectful, worthy of reverence.
Whatever is right…just, reputable, righteous.
Whatever is pure…holy, authentic.
Whatever is lovely…beautiful, compelling, pleasing.
Whatever is admirable…of good report, commendable, gracious.
If anything is excellent…virtuous, any excellence of a person or thing.
Or praiseworthy…a commendable thing, deserves praise.
Think about such things…mediate, consider, dwell, take inventory, count.
“The best, not the worst;
The beautiful, not the ugly;
Things to praise, not things to curse.
Do that, and God, who makes everything work together,
will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (MSG)
“Fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” (TPT) That, my friends, is a game changer for a worried soul.
(Other versions used: ESV, NLT, KJV, TPT, NIV, MSG, AMP)
**photo : John Bogna @unsplash.com