This. This is my life verse.
I didn't even realize I had a life verse until discussing it with our church recently... but this is the one! I have become passionate about thinking intentionally, for I have learned how powerful our thoughts can be; that they are the driving force for why we do and say things and act the way we do. I try to keep control of my mind whenever I can. It's intentional, diligent work that can at times feel like an uphill battle.
Here are the full verses that did not fit on my letterfolk board. (;
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, 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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." -Philippians 4:8-9
Sometimes I dwell WAY too long on the awful things that could happen to Sam and Lucy. Sometimes I have fearful thoughts that run rampant in my tired-mind as I'm trying to fall asleep. Sometimes I entertain lies of comparison that Satan is whispering into my ear for way too long. I have a lot of fearful thoughts that kind of slink into my mind without me even realizing it until I find my fists clenched, breath held and am choking back tears as if my thoughts have actually become reality. But as soon as I realize that my thoughts have gotten away from me, the words whatever is lovely stop every one of those in their tracks. I become reminded of this scripture and that none of those thoughts are from the Lord, which means they should have no place in my mind.
I love that the very first sentence in this passage is to focus on whatever is TRUE. That alone has been foundational for me throughout my season of infertility and now motherhood. As humans, we are often naturally run by our emotions. This can have some really detrimental repercussions. If we can remember to keep "whatever is true" at the forefront of our minds, can you imagine how much different our lives would look? Worry would likely be far from our minds and therefore we'd be thinking A LOT more clearly. We'd be able to focus on Jesus and His promises, and our faith would be strengthened. We live in a world that can feel very scary. There are days I have lost all hope in humanity and feel that its best if I just keep my loved ones in a tiny corner of my house and never go anywhere. But God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. It's not very sound to hole myself away for fear of what "might" happen outside my door.
In order to be obedient to this passage, we must first learn how to get control of our minds... and that's where it gets tough. We have tons of sources vying for our attention at literally every turn, the media being one of the biggest sources of input we allow into our lives. It's no wonder anxiety and depression are at an all-time high with all the fabrications social media and television can create (but that's another discussion for another day). (; We must be extremely careful about what we let into our lives because it has influence over our lives whether we realize it or not. So, how can we stay in control of our thoughts and be mindful of meditating on whatever is true, noble, just, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy? Here's where to start:
1) BE AWARE: Keeping control of your thoughts is a tremendous amount of work. We daydream, we fantasize, we dwell on the things we wish we had, the things that have happened to us, the choices we've made, we envy other people's lives and we worry about the future. This is why we need to be very protective of who and what we let into our lives.
2) FIND YOUR INPUT: Take a step back from your life and examine who you spend most of your time with, what you spend most of your time doing, what you listen to, what you watch. Do you realize just how much influence these have on your life? Are you spending time in your word and in prayer? If you don't have positive and more importantly, biblical input pouring into your life DAILY, your life is not really your own. You're at the mercy of whatever you give your mind and your time to. Bad company corrupts good morals every single time -- that doesn't only mean people. There are tons of sources of "bad company"; be aware and be intentional.
3) PURGE: As far as it is within your control, purge anything and everyone that has negative influence in your life. Limit your time on social media, limit your time or cut out people who don't speak life over you and into you, avoid tv shows/movies that may instill a spirit of fear into you, stop reading articles and stories of awful tragedies if they are going to run your emotions off a cliff. Yes we are to expect trials as the book of James tells us, but even more so are we to focus on the goodness and sovereignty of a God who is at all times in control.
Truthfully, I've sat down multiple times to write this blog and for some reason, the words haven't really flowed until now. I know that means God has kept me from completing this because the time wasn't right. One of you needs to hear these words and take this scripture to heart. To follow the steps above and change your life. To choose joy over fear intentionally, every day, despite circumstance. I hope you find life in this verse!
What tools or scriptures do you access when you're feeling fear, depression, anxiety or hopelessness? How do you keep truth at the forefront of your mind? I'd love to hear in the comments below! And thank you guys for reading. I cherish each of you!