Hill: What were you thinking?

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

We all have misbehaved at times, participated in schemes or pranks with siblings or friends at school or the neighborhoods where we live. When caught we had to face the question, “What were you thinking?” The issue is that we weren’t thinking at the moment. We thought we’d have a little fun and never be caught. History bears a different outcome than we planned.

Speaking the Truth in Love by Pastor Tommy Hill

Speaking the Truth in Love
by Pastor Tommy Hill

In a normal and sane world, we hope these moments would occur only for children, but alas, the thought processes for misguided thinking seem to linger well into our senior years.

As Christians, we find biblical instructions that teach us the importance of Christian thinking. God commands us to have a guided thought life. When we find our thoughts wandering down questionable paths we must take them in hand and practice positive thinking, which is only possible when Christ dwells in us. So how should we think as Christians? We should;

GUIDE OUR MIND WITH TRUE THOUGHTS: We begin by excluding the false and thinking about that which is true. The simplest way to expose the false is to become familiar with truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth…” (John 14:6). Paul said as little as possible about false teaching– just enough to highlight its general outlines. Then he simply expounded the truth.

GUIDE OUR MIND WITH HONEST THOUGHTS: God teaches us to think thoughts that are respectable in content. The social media platforms today have many who “spill it all out,” shamelessly making the most intimate details of life a matter of open conversation. When our thought patterns constantly follow this path, we become bitter in our thoughts instead of respectable. “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7).

GUIDE OUR MIND WITH JUST THOUGHTS: Many things in this world are not right. We could easily dwell on those things, especially if we ourselves have been victims of injustice, but we have a choice. When Paul was arrested in Philippi, he responded by singing at midnight. Paul wrote four epistles from a prison cell where he was unjustly confined. He was the victim of injustice but he was never bitter. He used the circumstances in his life to continue to be a witness for Jesus. He didn’t live with a chip on his shoulder.

GUIDE OUR MIND WITH PURE THOUGHTS: How timely is this exhortation! In our day, society gives free reign to pornography, perversion, and all things impure. It is hard to find a modern book or television program that does not fill the mind with impurities. How does a person in our day keep his thoughts pure? Once given lodging, impure thoughts lurk in the hidden recesses of the mind and make their presence known at unexpected times, and are virtually impossible to evict. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse the mind (Phil 2:5). Nothing can be more detrimental to inner health and a Christian testimony than unclean thoughts.

GUIDE OUR MIND WITH LOVELY THOUGHTS: We are to fill our minds with thoughts that are pleasing and amiable. The opposite would be a mind that displays a disposition that finds fault with everything. The Christian is to have the mind of Christ. Jesus offered us answers to our needs.

GUIDE OUR MIND WITH GOOD THOUGHTS: We are to think about things that lead to edifying. How many times we come away from a conversation with regrets! Our words should build character not demean. Let us meditate on things that are of good report- things that stretch the mind, enlarge mental horizons, and open up new areas of thought. These will be deliberate choices.

The secret of a guided thought life is an active assertion of the will, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, to “think on these things.” The challenge is great, “if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” These thoughts will lead us to Jesus. What are we thinking?

Pastor Tommy Hill is the pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Hamlet. He is a Richmond County native. He can be reached at firstfwbchurchhamlet@gmail.com. His column will appear each Friday in The Pee Dee Post.

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