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  • Writer's pictureWill Johns

Good Thoughts, Good Feelings

Think about the last time you felt bad. What was your mind focused on? I can say with certainty that you were thinking about something negative. How would I know that? Our feelings are generated by our thoughts. So when our minds focus on something negative, we are going to feel bad. This is why over-consuming the news can really bring us down. It can be too much for our minds. Of course, we need to know what is going on in the world, but we don't have to focus on it all day long. That's the good news. You get to choose what you think about. You decide what your mind is going to focus on. And by so doing, you get to decide how you feel.

God has a plan for your mind found right here in Philippians 4:8-9: "Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

I don't know about you, but a part of me is scared to try what Paul is teaching us here in Philippians 4. I mean, what if while I'm focused on all the good things, I get blindsided by some bad thing that I wasn't expecting? Just the thought of that makes me anxious. But this passage is an invitation to trust God with protecting us from the evil in the world. It is an act of daring faith to focus on "whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable." We are letting our mind rest from its constant search for threats. We are trusting God to watch out for us. We are entrusting ourselves to God's care.

If you follow the wisdom of Philippians 4:8-9, you will also notice one major improvement in your mental and spiritual health. You're going to feel better. You will feel joy and peace in your heart. Your faith will be strengthened. You will see new opportunities that before were hidden from your mind. You will be encouraged. And you will find that you have far more strength to serve others from this place of joy.

So go ahead. Take the risk. Try it right now. Focus on whatever is good. Thank God for all the goodness that you are able to delight in. I would invite you this week to pay attention to your thoughts. Remember, just because you are thinking it, doesn't mean it is true. Especially watch out for the thoughts of sweeping negativity. Push those thoughts aside. Focus on God's love instead. Focus on all the good in your life. And see what happens. I'm pretty sure you will want to come back for more.

May you focus on the goodness of God this week.

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