“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Fourth in the positive thinking lineup is pure.
One way to relate to that term is by getting into the gutters.
Or landfills, as the case may be.
It’s not pretty what we’ve done to our lovely earth, is it? Garbage in the ocean. Trash clogging up rivers. Waste lying in heaps and piles, smelling to high heaven.
You don’t imagine with all that filth lying around that our minds would escape, do you?
No. No, I didn’t think so, either.
Some of the literal trash started in there, too – ignorance. Selfishness. Disregard for the rights of others.
It begins in our brains. It ends up in landfills – literal and figurative.
So – think of the opposite of filth – and you’ll get to pure.
Like the labels on coffee and honey. Only the real deal included. Pure means nothing else added. It means sparkling clean, full of health and vigour, and morally right.
I’m thinking I need to do some tidying up.
It’s not a quick process, let me tell you.
It works a bit like this.
Your thoughts are airplanes. Your mind is the tarmac. Some of the cargo flying your way is lovely – pure, even. It will bring you health and courage and maybe even spur you on to greatness.
Then there’s the muck.
Think of those planes as filled to the brim with toxic slime. Those are the negative, lying, condemning messages that keep us bound in shame and short on grace and compassion.
But you – you are the air traffic controller. You have the final say as to where the planes can land – and how much cargo they can unpack on your runways.
And some of y’all aren’t even questioning any credentials – you let any old idea in to vomit all over your mental kingdom.
Clean it up!
We who are children of the Most High God don’t need to believe we don’t have value, or are never going to measure up, or that it’s too late for us. We’ve just let those awful thought-planes in for so long that we don’t even notice anymore when or how they are landing and unloading.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure landing in your air – I mean, head space?
But like I said, that kind of clean up takes time. Diligent practice. Awareness of toxic thought processes.
And lots and lots of prayer and dependence on God’s interior work in us as we read and study His truth.
You want a nice tidy tarmac with healthy landscaping and beautiful views.
You really don’t want to lurch about in a landfill. It’s like really gross in there…
I’ve been slowly cleaning up – and it’s tough. When I’m tired or stressed, back come all those old habits of just letting any old thought in willy nilly. I fall into those deep ruts I tracked in over so many years, and it takes effort to pull out of the track and replace those toxic thoughts with God-thoughts.
But oh, is it worth it!
Start to clean up your thinking with me?
Father, You are pure and perfect. You are pleased when we learn to shoo away thoughts which aren’t kind or true or are corrupt and damaging to our souls. Teach us how to recognize toxic thought patterns. Help us to have pure, clean thinking. Amen.