Dirty Thoughts

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Can I be honest for a moment, or two, or three..? There is something, a behavior, which just sucks the life out of me. Because I tend to be a positive person, when I’m around people who are constantly negative, my day goes downhill real quick. They complain about the weather, their spouse (shame on you if you do this), their job, their kids, their school, their lack of funds, their hair color, their weight, the song on the radio, and on and on they go. It seems that their complaints are never-ending. It seems as if they can find nothing good in this life. And, it makes me sad, tired, and grumpy when I’m around it.

Of course, living a life full of negativity has some serious health implications too. Research has show that regularly being negative wreaks havoc with our mental and physical health. (Check out research from the Mayo Clinic on positive vs. negative health effects) Depression, anxiety, and a lowered ability to fight off infections (it messes with your immune system) are all real-world side effects of focusing on the negative in life. The flip side (and not surprisingly) is that focusing on the positive has the opposite affect. People who focus on the positive generally have a better wellbeing, in addition to all of the benefits listed in the aforementioned article.

Dwelling on the negative can also destroy us spiritually as well. The apostle Paul, in our verse today, put it like this: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” In other words, focus on the goodness of God. Train your thoughts on how amazing the love of Jesus has been in your life. Hone in on the grace and mercy that flow from the Kingdom of God. Marinate on the sacrifice Jesus made so that your sins are forgiven. Imagine resurrection morning when He conquered the grave. Fix your sights on Jesus. Every single thought towards Him must be a positive. In addition, look for that positivity in the church. Yeah, it’s easy to find faults (we’re all human after all). But, focus on praising Jesus with the church family. Serve others as part of the church family. Worship Jesus for who He is as part of the church family. When you do, you’ll find that not only is your physical health getting better, but your spiritual health as well.

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