“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Focus. If I could only focus. Instead, I hear doubt shouting in my ears, telling me this is the last straw; I can’t take any more. Doubt enjoys the company of its cousins, fear and anxiety. They are quickly joined by frustration, which removes the fear only to replace it with bitterness. My mind is a battlefield, and if I’m not careful I’m going to lose this fight. Quietly, gently; I am reminded the battle is not mine alone. I have been given all I need to succeed, if only I choose to dwell on these things.
When I allow the cares of this world to overtake me, choosing not to dwell on what is honorable, I am giving the enemy a foothold. He plagues my mind with anxiety and worry. Yet I choose not to dwell on good things. He diverts my attention to the mess around me, telling me I am worthy of something else. Yet I choose not to dwell on good things. He pushes, pulls, will resort to hitting if necessary or any other form of coercion which will pull me away from the path to which I am called. Yet I choose not to dwell on good things.
In contrast, when I purposefully choose to focus on what is good in my life, there is no room for anything else. In Philippians 4:8 we are led through a series of ideas – a checklist if you will – upon which our thoughts should dwell. Our minds are to focus on what is true, noble, just, pleasing to think upon, attracts the love of holy souls; whatever is wonderful and Godly.
Too often, however, I allow my mind to be diverted from dwelling on these things. The stress of daily life, the struggles of parenting, the hiccups in marriage, and constant responsibility crowd my head. If I am not careful, the cares of this world leave little room for anything good. I must remember the instruction found here in Proverbs. Truth must take precedence! My thoughts need to be refocused to dwell on the things of Christ. Things which are good.
No matter what my day brings, no matter the chaos which surrounds me, Christ needs to be my center and my focus. I need to choose to dwell on what pleases my Father, and brings me into His presence. Through practice, dwelling on these things will lead to a life well-pleasing to the Lord and peace of mind.
“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become deeds.
Watch your deeds; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.”