Question for you today: What are you thinking? What have your thoughts been filled with lately? On what does your mind ponder?

ponder :: to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate (often followed by over or upon); to weigh carefully in the mind; consider thoughtfully

It’s a good day to pause and consider our thoughts, especially as we are bombarded with doom and gloom and bad news everywhere we turn… in the headlines, on t.v., in our social feeds, and even, unintentionally, from those we do life with. Believe it or not, our thoughts matter. Yes. Our thoughts are more than just random thoughts.

Our thoughts determine how we live!

It’s interesting how thoughts pop in and out of our minds all day long, isn’t it? Some of them linger longer than others, while some are so fleeting, we may not remember them at all. Some of our thoughts are helpful and encouraging, and yet, we all know some are certainly not. Either way, our thoughts are powerful. They can determine what we do, what we say, what we believe. They can even determine how we live our lives!

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.

Proverbs 4:23 ERV

Yikes! So, what thoughts are we thinking?

We pick what we ponder, and what we pick matters!

Friend, we have a choice in what we think.

To pick what we ponder. You and I don’t have to allow every thought in our minds. God gave us the ability to choose what we think and don’t think. And, we certainly don’t have to believe every thought we think!

The enemy of our souls knows that if he can infiltrate our thoughts, he can influence our very lives. Because, our thoughts determine our words, our actions, our attitudes, our beliefs, our dreams, our choices, our lives. If he can slip in our minds thoughts of despair, of doom, of discouragement, of unworthiness, or any other garbage-filled notions, he then has access to our minds. He can have his way with us and our lives. That’s if, we allow him that access. If we allow him to slip those thoughts in our minds in the first place.

For example, last week a thought filled my mind about this COVID-19 virus. I allowed it to travel from a single thought to a string of thoughts, which led me to a downward spiral, which landed me in a panic. Seriously. My mind felt like it would explode at any moment as my heart began to pick up its pace. From past experiences I get concerned when my heart begins to race. Thankfully, it passed in a minute and I was okay. But, that’s what unhealthy thoughts can do, placed in our minds by this enemy. One thought took on a life of its own in my mind and eventually effected my physical body. Crazy!

So, friend, it matters what we pick to ponder.

That day I parked myself in Philippians and found this gem.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Paul tells us in this text to pray instead of worry. We can choose to shape our worries into prayers, instead of allowing the worry to infect us and consume us. The enemy, however, wants us to be so fixated on worry and anxious thoughts, so we won’t pray. So we won’t be praising God. So we won’t be effective at doing anything… but worrying.

But, Paul doesn’t stop there. He continues with instruction for what to do after we’ve prayed and praised our worries to God. He helps us with what to think of instead. Check it out:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. 

Philippians 4:8 MSG

With what are you picking to ponder?

The nightly news or the everlasting hope? The fear or the truth? The worst or the best? The ugly or the beautiful? Jot down a few positive, uplifting, best, beautiful, truth-filled things you can think about today. (Share them below if you’d like! I’d love to read them!) Then, come back tomorrow. I’m making a list as well and will share them in tomorrow’s post. I’ll also share some ways we can change our thinking and not believe every thought we think.

Our thoughts matter, friend. They affect everything. Praying for our thoughts today as we walk this out together. Thanks for being here.

Much love,

Our Thoughts: Are They Helpful or Hurtful? is the subject of our next BYOB and B event (whenever we’ll able to gather again). Stay tuned for additional details!

Our Thoughts: Are they helpful or hurtful?

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