“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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
When my internal negative Nellie starts to nag, my critical Cathy starts to complain, or my Debbie downer dives into depression; I like to remember that verse. I can churn out a million reasons why things aren’t going right in my life at any particular time, and if I allow myself to dwell on the bad, I end up doing just that. But when I focus on what is noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable; the pessimism ebbs away.
When I look at my life in the light of God’s love, I can’t help but smile! I have been so blessed. I have a loving husband, wonderful children, and marvelous friends. Why should I feel bad? Oh yeah, sometimes he yells. Sometimes the kids behave like they were born in a barn. Sometimes they don’t drop everything to respond to my needs. Can you hear the tiny violin being played in the background? It can be so easy to concentrate on calamity that I overlook the abundant goodness that I have been given.
I have always been able to see the good in my children even when their behavior has been less than exemplary. It’s a mom thing. I haven’t always been as successful with my spouse. It’s a wife thing, but I am doing better. The amazing thing is: the more I focus on his good traits, the less I notice his bad ones! Seeing him as excellent and praiseworthy effects my demeanor which then effects his! Wow, after 23 years of marriage, I finally figured that out.
I believe that this message doesn’t just apply to the way we think about the people and situations in our lives, it also holds true for our own self-talk. When I look in the mirror and criticize my less than svelte self, I’m not really thinking of this blogger in terms of being excellent or praiseworthy. If I am a redeemed child of God, how is there any room for the loathing that occasionally leaps into my head. If I allow my ears to listen to the lies of the enemy in regards to yours truly, I’m not really living in the light of the King.
Every day is a new chance to see what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable in our situations (no matter how bleak), our loved ones (even when they are behaving like hooligans), and ourselves (yes, that means you). Choose to see the extraordinary in everyone and watch how people flourish.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.