No, I’m not talkin’ about chicken fried steak and collards. This post is about Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”
What are you feeding your soul? What are you filling your thoughts with?
I recently heard the amazing Dr. Caroline Leaf speak and bought several of her books. She is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. And yeah, the stuff she has to share is as impressive and mind-boggling as her title 😉 She uses science to illustrate/’prove’ scripture. The little bit that I’ve learned from her has unlocked a whole new world of understanding and appreciation for how God created us, and how He really did give us the guide to living well in His word.
Did you know that our brains are constantly changing physically? What you’re thinking now, what you dwell on, what you read, watch on tv, etc all affect the physical make-up of your brain. If we choose to dwell on the things of God…everything that Phil 4:8 says, then we’re developing healthy ‘trees’ (our thoughts actually form tree-like objects in the brain!). Anything that doesn’t line up with God creates toxic ‘trees’…and these toxic thoughts affect every cell in our bodies. Our toxic thinking leads to sickness and just overall not-so-wonderful life!
I know for me, there are days that I have just wanted to be in my funky-ness. Sometimes it just seems fun to be irritable and cranky like a toddler throwing a temper-tantrum. On those days I would just figure I was having a temper-tantrum day and tomorrow would be better. And it usually was. However now that I know how our bodies were created, I know that it’s really not helping me to give in to those toddler-moments 🙂 I’m just building toxic trees in my mind that I’ll have to deal with again in the future. As much fun as the temporary tantrum may seem, it’s not worth it in the big scheme of life.
Because God has created me for more. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) The thief comes in the form of the temper tantrum. The thief comes in the form of ‘oh I’ll just have my crappy day because it’s Monday and Mondays are supposed to be bad’….or ‘because I’m in a job I hate’…or ‘because my spouse is driving me nuts and it’s HIS fault I’m like this’
But that’s not the life God has for us. He’s given us the weapon to fight off the thief and live in His abundant life of peace and joy. We have a choice. And if we continue to make choices that are in line with His word, eventually we’ll have a full forest of trees in our mind that reflect the mind of Christ! (and there are actually ways to literally burst our toxic trees to eliminate them from the physical composition of our brains…but I haven’t read enough about that yet lol)
Let’s be intentional with these lives and bodies and minds that God has given us. Let’s not settle for the world’s standard of what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise but instead rise above to God’s standard. Let’s set ourselves apart and demonstrate true health and freedom in Christ so that others can find it for themselves.
Image Credit: Erin Kass Photography