January 25, 2017

Relearning how to think

The Bible encourages us to have the mind of Christ, but how does that happen? How do we trade dark thoughts for light or exchange ill thoughts for good?

Effective change comes about through the grace of God, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless our own choices and actions have a part in this too. For example, Philippians 4:8 tells us what we can do to reshape and reform our thinking as this prayer-a-phrase will hopefully show:

From now on,
think about
what’s actually true


which may require research,
study, and an open mind –
free of prejudice to find out.

From now on, notice
whatever is honorable


and honestly worthy
of time and attention.

From now on, think about
whatever is just


right, fair, equal, unbiased.

From now on, be attentive
to whatever is pure


as shown by pure motives,
selflessness, and empathy
toward others.

From now on, contemplate
whatever is lovely


beautiful sounds in psalms,
poetry, prayer, music –
beautiful art and religious icons
with which to meditate –
beautiful variety in God's creation.

From now on, put your thoughts on
whatever is commendable


of good repute, of good report –
of Good News.

Finally, if you see any
excellence anywhere,
anything worthy of praise,
think about those things


dwell on the excellent,
inhabit the virtuous,
live in God’s praise.

Philippians 4:8 prayer-a-phrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, using translations found on Bible Gateway