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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
September 28, 2000

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."
Philippians 4:8 (The Message*)

Paul gives good advice. What we fill our minds with and meditate on has an enormous effect on us.

There is plenty that is unsavory and depressing in the world that we could focus on, and certainly we can't simply ignore all that. But if we fill our minds with those things, we're likely to become unsavory and depressing ourselves.

Instead, if we focus on things that are inspiring and hopeful, we may inspire others and give them reason for hope. We need to recognize how God has blessed us, and fill our hearts with thankfulness and praise.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. How do we live the advice that Paul gives in this verse? Here are some ideas:

  • Start each day with giving thanks to God for our blessings, and praising God.
     
  • Don't watch television programs or movies, or listen to radio programs, that are filled with hatred, violence, greed, selfishness, exploitation, etc. Watch or listen to inspiring programs, or find better activities.
     
  • Look for the good and the potential in each person you meet.
     
  • Thank everyone who helps you in any way. Find ways to encourage people.
     
  • Do good deeds for people - those whom you find hard to love as well as those you find easy to love, strangers as well as friends, those who don't seem to have any way to return the favor even more than those who do.
     
  • Pray for people, especially those you don't like.
     
  • End each day with giving thanks to God for helping you through the day, and praising God for His faithfulness.

Have a blessed week.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2000 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 09:45:57 EST