How We Think Matters

How We Think Matters

 

Finally, brothers, 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.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8, 9.

 

How we think matters.  What we think about matters.  What we focus on and dwell on matters to who we will be and the atmosphere we bring to the table.

Think about it; if we focused on what is true instead of lying to ourselves or avoiding the truth, how would our lives be different?  Okay, if we stop at truth, we’ll have a problem though , because much of the truth we know in this world anyway is pretty ugly.  That’s why Paul doesn’t leave it there but heads onto the word “noble,” “right,” “pure,” “lovely,” and “admirable.”

Some of us stop looking once we find “truth” in whatever form of it we like to see it, then use it as a bludgeon to force others into submission to it.  Sometimes we become so myopic as humans that we see only a single truth without recognizing any other.  It’s almost like no other truth exists outside of this one that we feel the need to champion.  But that’s just the problem, those who see pollution as a truth they must shout out at the top of their lungs many times ignore much of the truth surrounding it.  They fail to recognize what brought us here, opting for a simplistic negative approach to the problem.

The other day I listened to a man who was championing the dangers of cell phones.  When asked, he claimed he wouldn’t put one within 10” of his body and didn’t own a computer or printer or anything with a radio (all wireless devices are radio based).  I thought,  “Geez, dude, you’re so worried about the problem you fail to see your issues of paranoia are gonna’ kill you before the others do.”  It’s a pretty established fact that anxiety and worry produce more cancers and other diseases than almost anything else.  Those into healthy living usually focus on the diet aspect of the equation when in reality it’s attitude as much as anything else.

Let’s lay the cards out on the table:  Sin is a deadly disease which is killing us.

But you know what?  We’re living longer than less than 200 years ago when the average age was 45, give or take.  So this paranoia about dying is ludicrous and pretty pointless.  Let the record show that the statistics prove for every birth there is a death waiting in the future so attempting to avoid it or railing against our fate is pretty silly.

Yet those who do grasp the reality of positive thinking through Christ find something no one else does:  Peace which passes all understanding.

You got it.  The reward, the pearl of great price, the single most comforting thing in the world is finding peace that is not dependant on what is going on around us but what we know to be true inside.  It’s pretty easy to say that whatever a person focuses on to the exclusion of everything else will dominate their mind.  It’s also a forgone conclusion what we think comes out in our behavior one way or another—no matter how adept we are at hiding it.

Most of us have heard someone tell us that the way to know a counterfeit dollar bill is study every detail of a real one and know it by heart.  When the counterfeit shows itself it’s not hard to spot because there’s some detail messed up or missing.

Whatever is true…

The Christian apologetics gets it backwards too often because we spend so much time worrying about the ugly sordid details of the counterfeits we forget to preach the truth about the genuine article.  Paul encourages us to concentrate on the true not just so that we won’t be deceived by the façade of the fake but so that we’ll know peace.  Jesus said,  ”If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31, 32.  It’s almost comical how often this simple sentence gets misquoted.  Instead of including the first sentence most people only quote the last phrase …the truth will set you free, ignoring the rest.  But truth doesn’t always bring peace or a sense of fulfillment for unless it is combined with the knowledge of the Truth (“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life), knowledge of the truth gives nothing but information.  Truth without wisdom to guide it is dead.

The peace which grows from knowing the truth only comes through a knowledge of Jesus.  Truth is not simply knowing, rather I consider it the essence of what is.  We sometimes feel truth is fluid when actually it’s quite stable.  Where we make our mistake is when we ignore the theorems of truth.  For instance, in Geometry we play math games about equivalents like:  If A = B and C = B, then A = C.  It might sound like semantics but this kind of reasoning has to flow into our living space where we operate most frequently.  Physicists know that everything in the known universe (and the unknown) has an equation.  They might not know what that equation is but they know by experience there is one.  The equation for basic truth in Jesus is as follows:

 

Jesus’ teaching = truth; knowing His teachings = discipleship; knowing His truth = freedom.  So Jesus’ teachings = freedom.

 

Do you see where the peace comes from when we know His truth?

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One Response to “How We Think Matters”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Well said!

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