Healthy Minds and Joyful Hearts

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 NLT

In order to maintain a healthy mind and a joyful heart, we must make it a point to fix our minds upon that which is excellent and worthy of praise, for if we do not, our minds will naturally sink into the mire of negativity. Left unchecked, negative thoughts will eventually rob us of our joy and ultimately destroy our lives.

This destruction occurs because negative thoughts, which often start as anxious curiosity, eventually become obsessive and habitual. Years of negative thinking eventually make the mind pessimistic and cynical, resulting in a numb and joyless heart. Many who have become negative in their thinking are often unable or unwilling to change because negative thinking can become self-justified and addicting. There is a kind of logic and pride that surrounds the negative person, which convinces them that they are being a realist who sees things that others are too naive or unwilling to see. Ultimately, the real danger of negative thinking is spiritual, because proud and cynical hearts are unable to see Christ through the eyes of a child. Negativity is not conducive to faith.

Perhaps you have become negative in your thinking, if you're not sure, take an inventory of what goes in and out of your mind and compare it with the list in Philippians 4:8. Do you fix your mind on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise? Or do you fix your mind on the negative narrative of our times? It may be time to shift your thoughts and remove this burden from your back. The problems of the world will not be solved through arguments, Facebook debates, or the constant monitoring of news developments. We will not change the world for the better by burdening the minds of others with the negativity that burdens our own, but we will change the world by renewing our minds.

For a time, cease to ruminate upon and debate the problems of the world, and instead ponder the love of God in sending his Son to die for you. Turn off the flood of darkness that is pouring into your mind through the news, and instead open up a window to heaven through God’s Word. As that window opens, allow the light of Christ to shine down upon you and lighten your darkness. Ponder the beauty of creation, the joy of loved ones, and the glory of heaven. Ask God to cleanse your mind of the negativity that has resided there and replace it with the trusting and joyful faith of a child.

May the love of Christ be with you always.
Pastor Gregory