Philippians 4:8-9 – Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (MSG)
We have had some really hot days, the kind of days when it is fun to have the sprinkler on, with children running through the sprinkler, squealing because of the cold water splattering on them.
On one such day recently, a couple of children were using the hose with a nozzle on it to spray each other — laughing and squealing with delight when they were sprayed. On the nozzle, there are different positions to make the water spray at different angles, different water patterns, and different strengths of water pressure. The little five-year-old girl had the hose at one point. The spray of water wasn't quite reaching her sister. She was looking at all the various positions on the nozzle and turned it to "Jet". She said, "That says 'Jet' — I can read now, you know!" Yes, sure enough, it did say "Jet", and sure enough, it reached her sister when she held the handle to let the water flow! She knew what it said; she knew it would spray further; and she did what she knew to do.
I thought how that so relates to our spiritual life. We can read, you know; we can understand what it says; we can do what we know to do. What we read is the important part, though. We can fill our minds with true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious things — the best things, the beautiful things, things to praise. Or we can choose to fill our minds with the worst things, the ugly things, the things that curse. Let's fill our minds with God's Word; let's fill our minds with praise. Let's learn from others who have gone before us, those people who have set a good example, and from Jesus Himself. Life will be more harmonious if we do these things.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is so easy to think about the negative things, and that can be so defeating, so discouraging, so depressing. Lord, help us to think about the positive things in our lives; help us to fill our minds with praise; help us to see the beautiful things. Amen.