Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones says in his book Spiritual Depression (a must read by the way) that it is vital that we learn to “talk to ourselves and stop listening to ourselves.” Because if we just let our minds “run” for some reason the thoughts it replays are negative for the most part. Think about this.
When you are just passively alone with your thoughts, what kinds of things jump into play? Largely they are traumatic memories, memories of when you did something stupid, memories of when you sinned, memories of someone hurting you, memories of cutting words, memories of betrayal, memories of loss. Right? And for the most part these replays leave us with things like shame, guilt, grief – the bad stuff.
Have you ever wondered why our minds don’t just default to GOOD memories? The day at the lake with our kids. The time you did something right. That time someone blessed you with particularly kind words. Unless you are very different from me, your auto-replays just don’t pull up those kinds of memories.
Think about how this works itself out in our dreams. If yours are like mine, they usually border on what might be classed as a nightmare. Or at least they are some scenario where you are trying and trying to do something but everything just keeps going wrong and you can’t do it. You forgot the combination to your locker at school. You are driving and driving trying to find the right way. Right?
Something is wrong with our minds in this present life. We are in need of Christ’s renewal and we need it really badly. And I suppose that is a big reason why the Apostle Paul wrote the words quoted above. He is really saying the same thing as Lloyd-Jones. Don’t listen to yourself. Talk to yourself. Speak the good things you have in Christ. Remind yourself of who you now are in Him. Think of your real life that is yours now in heaven above where Christ is.
If you know Christ, then God is your real Father. You are His child. Now, do we suppose that our heavenly Father is going to send these hurtful, shameful, accusatory messages into our minds? Of course not. They are coming from the world, the flesh, or the devil. But they are not coming from the Lord. So we must enter into some warfare here. We must take charge, pick up the Word which is the sword of the Spirit and put to death the lies being thrown at us on the battlefield of our minds. Think on these things – the pure things, the good things, the true things.