by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV)
What is on your mind? What dominates your thoughts?
Recently, I got wrapped up in sports. This used to be an obsession for me, but I gave it up for Lent a number of years ago. I needed to budget the mental and emotional energy into other things. Then, something huge happened in my life, and I needed a diversion. The Braves were gearing up for the playoffs, and my Bulldogs were having a great start to their season. Sure, the Falcons are experiencing some problems, but my Braves and Dawgs provided enough winning energy to compensate. Until that week…I think you know the one I mean.
The Braves, four outs from playing for the National League Pennant imploded.
The highly favored Bulldogs were never let off their leash.
The Falcons’ near automatic, likely Hall of Fame kicker, missed an extra point after a touchdown.
Throw in Georgia Tech’s rough start to the season for good measure.
It all added up to a very bad week indeed for the local sports faithful.
What started as a diversion from the struggles in my personal life turned into gasoline fueled explosion in my spirit. Again, I was reminded why I gave up sports for Lent all those years ago. Tiffany asked me why I was moping so much, and I said — as close to a direct quote as I can remember — I haven’t consumed enough outrage today.
Yep, I said that. It was proof that I was meditating on things that were far from true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Yet even still, what if all my teams had won? Would that have changed anything about where my focus should have been? I think not.
Proverbs 23:7 teaches that a person is as he or she thinks in his or her heart.
Proverbs 4:23 says to guard your heart, because your life flows from it.
When you think about the things you think about, what do you learn? Is your focus where it belongs? Do you need some adjustments in order to center your life on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy?
If so, today is no better time to start.
Prayer: Almighty God, forgive me the times my focus is off of you and your purpose, even — and maybe especially — when I welcome in those things as diversions. I start my day with you on my mind, and that’s where I want my mind to be. In Jesus’ holy name I pray, amen.