Recently I heard the question posed from the pulpit, “What do you spend yourself on?” In other words, where does the energy you give out … go? As the pastor took off in one direction, this got me thinking (no pun intended) in another. For the majority of us, we tend to spend more time and energy in our thought life. We day dream, we ponder, we fantasize, we stress AND we fear.
Paul of the Bible was a man of lists, he loved his lists. Love is ____ . (1 Cor.13) The fruit of the Spirit is____. (Gal. 5) Put on the full armor of God ____. (Eph. 6) Just to name of few. Paul again lets the scroll fall to the ground with the list of things to ‘think about’.
“Finally, brothers, 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.” (Phil. 4:8 ~ NIV)
Other translations use terms such as dwell, meditate, fix and fill your mind. All indicate a deliberate act, OCCUPY yourself with these. There is an eastern practice called ’emptying the mind’. Have YOU ever tried that? The more you try – the more thought comes to mind. Those sheep keep prancing over the fence! Paul doesn’t say void your mind of thought. On the contrary, he speaks of discipline. In 2 Cor. 10:5, Paul writes, “… take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Because thought is such a vital aspect of our lives, Paul places a huge emphasis on what goes on in our head, which in reality affects our heart, perspective, and actions … our obedience. We are to exercise our mind in such a manner that leads to Godly behavior and responses.
One way to look at it is, picture a cow chewing his cud (sorry to be gross) he is focused, as he again and again – chews and chews, this is part of his digestive system. This, his designed survival mechanism. To ruminate, for us, is liken to ‘chewing the cud of the mind’, (DeDe’s disgusting imagery) to mull over again and again. This is what Paul is talking about, take the things that are true, noble, right and pure and chew on them. Whatever is lovely, admirable, excellent and praise worthy ~ allowing these to be part of our Christ focused digestive system.
May we like the Psalmist say, “I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.” (Ps. 77:12) This alone will keep us busy, obedient and OUT of TROUBLE! Lower anxiety, live in reality. Like my friend Kelly said, “Gotta love mind cud.” Chewing on the good things of God.
In Him, DeDe