Ep.1281: We Are What We Think About, So What Are We Thinking About? (Part I)
Unlocking the process of refocusing our thoughts towards godliness
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Theme Scripture: Philippians 4:8
Most of us don’t realize just much of our lives come down to our own personal choices. We have far more power over how we handle our everyday experiences than we give ourselves credit for. Why wouldn’t we claim this power so we can better influence our path? Because we subtly and regularly fall into habits of thinking that lull us into a lukewarm and compliant attitude of submission. The Apostle Paul was all about helping us, as his fellow disciples of Christ, challenge the status quo and reset our minds so we can daily think and choose with spiritual clarity. Much of the letter he wrote to the Philippian Christians focused in on the adverse conditions in life and how to think through them. Examining this letter is the first step to better focusing our Christian thinking!
The Apostle Paul really loved his fellow Christians at Philippi. While on house arrest under Roman guard, he wrote them a comprehensive letter concerning their Christian growth and development. One of his conclusionary teachings in this letter is found in the commonly read verse of Philippians 4:8. Paraphrased it says, "Finally, whatever is true, honorable, right, pure lovely or of good report, if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy, dwell on these things."
This letter to the Philippians is a tutorial on several of the high standards that true discipleship requires. Paul showed us how to handle limiting circumstances by talking about his own imprisonment. He implored all of his brethren to work through their issues in a unified fashion. He focused us on the importance of leaving our old standards of success behind and instead seeking success in a life of sacrifice. These and many other teachings were all in place to address the building up of a mature Christian mind.
A special list
Paul then gave us the list of things he pointed us to and what we should dwell upon. This was no mere listing of nice things to preoccupied us. This was a list of solid, connected, sequential and spiritually-sound priorities. Dwelling on them meant we were to use them as solid foundation stones of our Christian lives.
First on this list was the instruction to dwell on what is true. As we dig more deeply into his teaching, we realize the apostle was pointing us not to general worldly truth, but to godly eternal truth. All of the rest of his “think about this” list had its foundation in this solid beginning. Check out our May 15, 2023 podcast, “We Are What We Think About, So What Are We Thinking About? (Part I)” for more. After comprehensively summarizing the letter to the Philippians, we delve into the meaning of what is true, what is honorable, what is right and what is pure. What we find is the beginnings of a profound and life-altering approach to setting our minds up for true Christian thinking. Join us as we begin to learn what to think about and how to think about it!
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