Minding Your Mind.

[This another early entry that I wrote in my journal and then shared in Facebook. I really needed this today. ]This is another early entry that I wrote in my journal and then shared on Facebook. I really needed this today.   R

" I plead with Euodia, and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life."( v 2-3) I call Philippians 4:2-8 the thought section because Paul talks about controlling our thoughts. While this section can be applied to any difficulty, it is specifically referring to disunity. He makes an impassioned plea to two women to stop arguing and urges their fellow members. I agree that disunity is a secret sin and causes the most destruction. This occurs when people are so set in their ways they cannot compromise. Arguments over worship styles are a prime example. I have no preference because modern and traditional have their advantages. I like the energy of the modern style and the history and doctrinal richness of the hymns. Both express the heart of the worshiper, and that is all that should matter. One is not more godly than the other. I have seen the consequences of disunity. I was in a church whose consistory fired a well-liked pastor behind the congregation's back simply because he did not focus enough on evangelism. It caused some rancor that my parents and I couldn't stay. It even caused a founding member to leave. Unity does always imply agreement but uniting for a common purpose and working towards a mutually beneficial outcome. b Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (v 4-5) Paul tells them to focus on what they have in common in God rather than their disagreement. They should rejoice in their right standing with God. They should rejoice in the fact that nothing can sever that relationship. They should rejoice in the blood of Christ, which cleanses them their seen Nothing turns off people to that watch people fight, especially in church. Notice that he says Rejoice in the Lord, not the situation. We don't have to be happy about what is happening, but we can control how we react. If we remember our common faith and the importance of witness, we can settle conflicts in a godly way. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus(v 6-7). These verses are a constant reminder to me as a fear-prone person; fear is counterproductive and can potentially result in sinful activities such as manipulation and sins of omission Fear overwhelms our common sense Numbers 14 is a stark example of the effects of fear. The spies' negative report overwhelmed the rest of the Israelites so much they rebel despite the confident predictions of Joshua and Caleb. The word phroureo, the original Greek word for guard in this passage, means to guard, protect by a military guard, prevent hostile invasion, or keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from escape. That's a perfect picture of what God does when we pray over our fear. His peace will protect us from invading thoughts of fear and protect to fleeing from whatever we fear. Verse 7 tells us how. Petitions are more than asking for something. I am crying out to God. The Greek word deesis means prayer in general and supplication or petition, a type of prayer. Therefore, if anyone has hurt you, cry due to this conflict, cry out to God. You need guidance; ask God for help rather than being afraid. 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 Paul saying think on the positive. It is also a challenge to think more critically about what we put into our minds. Satan's first front of attack is the mind. He knows he destroys good churches with complaints and needless divisions. I think this is why Jesus specifically prescribes the reconciliation process for believers in Matthew 18. We may not always act on what we think about, but it can affect our attitudes. Have you ever noticed that negative attitudes tend to spread quicker than positive ones? A godly mind is an active mind. In 1 Corinthians 10:5 to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

\Orginally written.

Nov 2, 2008, 5:27 PM


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