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Philippians 4: 8         TPT

Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.

I should have sent this verse long ago in light of the challenging year we have had. This verse is a key not only to enduring challenging times but to rising above them. I chose the The Passion translation because it tells us to keep our thoughts continually fixed on that which is honorable, pure, respectable, kind, etc. That is an important element. It is so easy to let our thoughts, and our words for that matter, slip into the negative, detrimental, unkind, critical, facetious, etc. We really must set a guard over our lips and focus our attention on speaking and thinking those things which edify and encourage.

The NASB uses the word lovely, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable . . ..” These words create a high standard. God doesn’t want our thoughts wallowing around in the gutter of negativity, conflict, and destruction. It isn’t healthy for us and those thoughts, and subsequent words, are harmful to society. We are supposed to keep our thoughts to those things “that are excellent and worthy of praise.” If a thing is not worthy of praise, it should not be taking up time and space in our minds and spirits. It is like introducing a cancer into your spirit. You don’t want that.

You know, when we were kids, we were told that if we couldn’t say something nice, we shouldn’t say anything at all. I think the adults got that from this verse. If it isn’t praiseworthy, don’t say it and definitely don’t fix your thoughts on it.

We have been through a crazy year, a year unlike anything we have experienced before. It has been such a challenge at every level of existence. It is time, now, for us to pick up the pieces and restore nations and communities. We descended down into pits and wallowed far too much into muck but now we have fought our way out of the pit and back onto level ground. Do not allow ongoing challenge throw you back to the ground. Lift your eyes to heaven and let your thoughts, words and actions glorify God.

If it wouldn’t annoy you, I would write this Word of the Day in all caps to emphasize how important this is. I know how challenged your heart and spirit have been. I know how you’ve wanted to lash out at someone for all the indignation you feel you have suffered. We have all been frustrated and angry. That’s on us. However, we have a God who is love and kindness. Therefore, to fuel our recovery we must meditate on thoughts which are congruent with His character. We must stop tearing each other down, pointing fingers and complaining. We really must devote ourselves to prayers for others, kindness and charity. Let us heal and coalesce. Do not let your heart continue in dark thoughts or anger. Let your thoughts be of light and love. Consider the needs and concerns of others and make those a priority, even over your needs and wants. I know that sounds crazy but that is what the Bible tells us to do (Philippians 2: 3). And may the light and life of Jesus keep you.

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