What do you think?
Now, all of this holy living is great that we've been talking about the last couple weeks is great, but it doesn’t just happen. Not normally.
There are plenty of times when we just can’t “put on compassion, kindness, or humility.” Times when I know the Lord is near, but we just can't feel Him there.
What do we do then?
Let’s go back to the manual: Philippians 4:8-9
I've definitely had times when I had to read this passage to myself several times in a day. Each time, it eventually gets through and resets my mind and soul in the right direction. It’s pretty simple really.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
I have teenage daughters. I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that there are days that I really need to remember this verse. When I can "think on these things," I discover that I find truth, honor, justice, and purity in my daughters. There is plenty that is commendable and worthy of praise no matter what struggle we are going through.
When I can see all of these things, I can go into a stressful or negative situation and work on it with a much more peaceful and generous spirit. I don’t ignore the negative, but it changes much more quickly than it did without my being centered in holiness.
How can that be?
I think it has something to do with our focus. We are told to think of these things because they are filled with light. As we stand in the darkness of anger, frustration, or fear it is hard to see anything else. When we turn our gaze away from what we don’t want and turn it towards what we do, the path we are to follow is so much clearer.
When I think this way, it reminds me that the person in front of me is a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. They are trying to be the best they can be just as I am.
I wonder what our world would look like if this was how we treated each other in the social and political arenas. I think it would be a much better place. Don't you?