27th Jul, 2022
"If anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Php 4:8 NIV
To instruct us about how to feed our minds, the apostle Paul writes: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." John Ortberg writes: "The striking word in that command is whatever.
Our minds are being shaped all the time, but we have great freedom to pursue minds that flourish. As a bee that can find nectar in all kinds of flowers, we are now free-even commanded-to feed our mind on noble thoughts wherever we find them.
The Bible itself commands us to look beyond just the Bible to feed our minds. Let us meditate for a moment on that phrase 'whatever is lovely.' Think of something that is 'lovely' to you. A sunset. A favorite novel…The face of someone you love. Music that makes you dance. Let your mind dwell there for a moment. Give it directed mental focus. You just obeyed the Bible. That 'counts.! You just opened your mind a bit to the flow of the Holy Spirit…The Holy Spirit's goal is not to get you really good at suppressing angry behavior. It is for you to have a mind characterized by an ever-increasing flow of Spirit-guided, truth-based, life-producing thoughts and feelings. When we read about what is noble, when we see something praiseworthy, we experience what psychologist Jonathan Haidt called 'elevation! We actually feel a slight expansion in our chest; we feel lighter in our bodies. Our emotions are inspired, and we want to become more excellent ourselves. That counts as obedience to Scripture.
That is spiritual."