Thinking in Excellence
One of the greatest struggles of the believer is the battle with the mind. There have been books written to cover the topic and articles written to give guidance on how the believer should or should not think. There are opinions as far as the eyes can see on the mind. I am one who tries to study for myself on what God’s word tell us about the mind. So many successful people have overcome the trap of negative thinking – they believe in the process of Excellent Thinking.
With that, I turned to Philippians 4:4–8 where Paul was showing the people of Philippi what they should be thinking of. Paul wanted to share with the people the way that God wanted them to think.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice!” v. 4
Paul did not give a stipulation on when to rejoice. Instead, he said to rejoice regardless of the present circumstances. I love how the Psalmist said in Psalms 11:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” David didn’t say that this was the awesome perfect day that the Lord has made. It wasn’t based on what kind of day that it was. It was based solely on that this was the day the Lord had made….period.It is not based on our past. It is not based on the current. It is not based on the future. Period.
As we focus our eyes on rejoicing, our desires toward God change and it becomes all about Him. Listen how God turns it around; “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart. (PS 37:4)” What? When we put our thoughts and desires on Him, He in turn takes it and turns it to us!!
“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.” v 5
As you and I walk in this excellent mind, people will see it through your actions. When people see that you are at peace and walk with a joyful countenance, they will desire what you want.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” v 6
Paul had a desire for the people of the city to walk in complete peace. The people were living in complete fear, concern, worry, etc. Paul wanted them to lean on God and trust Him to be the One who brought peace to them. In Proverbs 3:5-6, King Solomon instructed us through wisdom to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”
God wants to have the type of relationship with you that has you trusting in Him completely. When we trust in Him, we recognize that He is in control and that He will take care of whatever situation that we are in.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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.” V 7-8
Be at peace and think upon these things! Now that we have learned how to trust and be at peace, we can replace the thoughts that we were having towards the thoughts that God wants us to have. Here are the thoughts to have broken down;
– True- Real, Genuine, Authentic
– Honorable- Noble, Dignity, High Esteem
– Right- Good, Proper, Just
– Pure- Untainted, Clear, Free from Defect
– Lovely- Delightful, Pleasing
– Excellence- Outstanding Quality
– Praiseworthy- worthy of thanks and praise
After all that, God desires for us to think about the things above and not the things that are the contrary. God desires for you and me to have a thought life that is filled with excellence.