This post appeared first on Jacqueline Heider’s Blog, Dancing in the Rain at jacquelineheider.com
Welcome to week 1 of Whatever, a study on based on Philippians 4:8.
Think about these things … I’m familiar with that phrase, aren’t you? As women, we think about anything and everything – ALL THE TIME! I mean, is there ever a waking moment when we aren’t thinking about these things, those things, a million and one things?!
We generally go to bed thinking about these things, wake up thinking about these things and go about the day thinking about these things. It’s absolutely exhausting!
Do you know what the phrase think about these things actually means in the Greek?
The word, think, is the word logizomai. It means to count, reckon, compute, calculate, to take into account, to consider, to gather or infer.
Isn’t that what we do? We count and recount, consider, infer (i.e. read into), and calculate (or mis-calculate) all day long. We spend so much time thinking that we often get off track about what and how we should be thinking. We make determinations, we exaggerate our thinking, we over think and over analyze until we just throw up our hands and say, “WHATEVER!”
Instead, we need to begin to “four-eight” some things. What does that mean, you’re probably thinking? Several years ago at a women’s retreat I heard a speaker share a message based on this verse. She talked about how we need to “four-eight” negative thinking and turn it into positive thinking. I went home from the retreat and shared that phrase with my then, 10-year-old son. Like his mother, he often struggles with negative thoughts and attitudes. We all do to some extent, don’t we? I told him we needed to begin “four-eighting” our negatives. We even came up with a hand gesture. When he or I would shift into the “bad attitude” realm, the other would just say “Hey! You need to four-eight that!” and we would do the hand motion and wink.
That’s what you and I are going to learn to do with our thinking. And we’re going to end up with something really extraordinary, I promise! After all the entire book of Philippians can be summed up in one word and “WHATEVER” isn’t the word! The theme of Philippians is JOY! And as Paul closes his letter to the church at Philippi, he is doing so with great encouragement and positive affirmation not a “WHATEVER” kind of attitude.
He is saying think about these things so that joy and peace will rule in your heart. Take a look at the verse directly following our focal verse.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
What things was Paul telling us to practice thinking on?
Things that are …
This week take notice of the things you find yourself “thinking on.” Ask yourself the following questions …
Am I thinking on that which is:
- True or false
- Honorable or deceitful
- Just or unfair
- Pure or contaminated
- Lovely or disagreeable
- Commendable or unworthy
- Excellent or repulsive
- Praiseworthy or disrespectful
Over the next few weeks we’ll take the time to examine different categories of thought, but for this week I’d like you to specifically focus on one word – Truth. “Think on” these verses about truth and saturate your thought-life with God’s Word. This will help you “four-eight” the unhealthy and spiritually defeating thoughts that flood your mind and replace them with that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy!
- And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
- Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
- The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18