Think On These Things
When Diane and I were raising our children, they often asked for permission to buy something, do some activity, or go somewhere with friends. Sometimes Dad or Mom already had enough information and would make the decision right away. Other times, more information was needed. In that case we had a simple rule, “Let Dad think about it.” When that was said, our children knew that if they demanded an immediate answer, the answer would be “no.” They would wait.
It is always good to think and plan ahead. Steven Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People said, “Begin with the end in mind.” It is true that if you do not know where you are going, you are sure to get there (nowhere). Young people should consider what situations they will allow themselves to get involved in – dating, temptations, friends, etc. Everyone should consider his direction.
It is easy to speak without knowledge. Recently Ted Camp and I found ourselves talking together about two different things. He was talking about one thing. I was talking about another. Later, when I got full knowledge, things made sense. Has that happened to you?
Consider how you will start the new year. What will occupy your thoughts? You may not be able to change what happens to you, but you do have a choice how you will react and think. The new year may bring great challenges for you, but as you prepare and think ahead, you can be ready to meet the challenges without fear.
Here are some things to consider (Phil. 4:8).
Think on things that are…
True – Focus your attention on the truth. Get all the facts before you speak or make decisions. Seek to understand things the way they really are, not just the way you think they are.
Honest – Follow the proper ways of doing things. It is always right to do things the right way. It is a sin to know what is right but not do it (James 4:17). Do not make hasty decisions based upon what is easy.
Just – Think and plan to do the right thing. Seek God’s will with your whole heart, even as Jesus came to do God’s will (Luke 22:42). Avoid your own self-will and wrong motives.
Pure – Let your words and thoughts please God. God knows every thought you have. Do not hide sin, but confess sin and become clean. There is no substitute for a clean heart.
Lovely – Develop and keep a good and right attitude. Learn to think positive, encouraging thoughts, not grumpy thoughts. Instead of thinking of problems, think about solutions. Avoid blaming others.
Of Good Report – Do not think critical ideas, but think of ways to be a blessing to others. Use positive thoughts to create positive words and actions which will help, not harm others.
With Virtue – The word virtue means excellence. Think above the normal, worldly, nasty, vulgar, and base things around you. Let your thoughts direct you toward moral purity. Avoid suspicious, critical, negative, and condescending thoughts.
With Praise – Praise is giving the right honor. Consider the facts. You do not deserve any good thing from God, but God loved you and sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to save you. Thankfulness comes from right thinking.
Pastor Loyal Carlson said, “You may not be what you think you are, but what you think, you are!” ...Think on these things.
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