“I don’t think she likes me very much.”
“I think I can do this on my own.”
“I don’t think this food is that bad.”
These are all thoughts that have entered my mind. At the time, I didn’t know if the statement was true or not – yet I believed it anyway. Believing each of those things affected my actions and behavior, which didn’t always end well.
Sometimes we let our thoughts run wild. Our minds can be like a runaway train speeding wildly out of control destined for an ugly crash.
Have you ever let your thoughts run away from you? I have. This is why it’s important to remember that you can’t believe everything you think.
Because our minds are susceptible to spiraling out of control, Paul shares some important truths for us in chapter 4.
What to Think On
Instead of immediately believing every thought that enters our mind, it’s wise to test it against what Paul tells us we should be thinking about in Philippians 4:8. Paul gets very specific. Here’s what he tells us to turn our minds toward:
“…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.”
What a wonderful litmus test for us to measure our thoughts against! This tool is essential in stopping us from willingly jumping into the black hole of questionable thoughts that enter our minds!
Let’s test it out on one of the thoughts I shared above: “I don’t think she likes me very much.”
I would take that thought and ask:
- Is this true? Probably not since it’s total speculation on my part.
- Is this noble (honorable)? This thought doesn’t honor the person I’m thinking about since I’m making assumptions about her preferences.
- Is this right (just)? It’s definitely not fair or just to project my thoughts onto someone else.
- Is this pure? No, this thought has no basis and is largely based out of my insecurity.
- Is this lovely? No, this thought pits me against her for no reason and doesn’t produce anything good about it.
- Is this admirable? Nothing about this thought is commendable.
- Is it excellent or praiseworthy? Nope, it’s a direct drain on my emotional state and doesn’t honor the Lord.
And that’s how we can process our thoughts and move them into a place that honors the Lord.
Let’s take a look at another thing we shouldn’t believe simply because we think it.
Finding Our Source of Contentment
There is so much nonsense floating around right now about finding contentment in ourselves and how we, as women specifically, are the answer to so many of the world’s problems.
This is wrong thinking. We can fall into the trap of thinking we are sufficient and can do everything that needs to be accomplished on our own.
Oh sweet friend, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You and I are not sufficient in and of ourselves. We cannot find happiness in ourselves because we are not the answer to freedom and contentment.
Paul tells us this when he said he learned the secret of being content. What was the secret he discovered?
The secret to contentment is a relationship with Christ by which we receive His strength and His sufficiency.
So, when those thoughts of, “I am the answer. Only I can fix this,” or “I don’t think she likes me very much,” enter your mind, I encourage you to run back to Paul’s words in Philippians 4. It’s only in setting our minds on Jesus that we can then believe what we know – not just what we think.
The image and sticker above are from Crew and Co.