Who pushes your buttons?
What pushes you over the edge?
What event or person can come to mind that sends your heart racing, and blood pressure soaring?
To what do you give the majority of your mental energy that drains you and leaves you wanting more – more sleep, more rest, more peace, more hope?
What do you think about?
I wrote yesterday about how I needed to capture my mind. Recent events consume me as I find myself reading one more article and commenting on just one more post. I ingest information by the bowlful, getting engorged. But at the end of the day I struggle to understand why I still keep coming up empty. My soul is empty. My heart is bare. And hope is void.
It’s because I’m filling my mind up with the wrong things.
The mind. It is a powerful force. When it is well, possibilities seem endless and creativity flows freely. A well mind informs the body and encourages the soul. But, when it is not well…
Unforgiveness and bitterness can reside in the mind, and make a person physically sick.
Worry and anxiety that controls a mind, controls a person.
When a mind hallucinates, or believes lies, what is untrue seems true, and people govern themselves accordingly – often times, to their (and others) detriment.
And while we may not always be in control of our minds’ faculties, it behooves us to take charge where we can.
Which brings me back to Paul. Look at his encouragement immediately following, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus…
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-8)
I don’t know about you, but I have to reset. Not ignore circumstances and events. Not put my head in the sand and pretend issues will go away. I can address them, but not dwell on them, not allow them to consume me. Throughout the day, it is possible to find things that are true and honorable. I can glance out of a window and see aspects of creation that are lovely and worthy of praise.
Consider this. What happens when you focus on lies, injustice and dishonorable actions? What happens when you continually engage with evil? What becomes of your heart when the woes of this world, and the battles with its people become your focal point? What happens to you?
That. That answer is why it is necessary to redirect our minds. Not for the sake of others (though they will benefit). But our own. So that we don’t go thru life jaded, cynical, hopeless and bitter. So that we see beauty in ashes. So that we see God – clearly – the One who is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praise-worthy.
And may the God of peace be with us all.