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. – Philippians 4:8
Our perspective on what happens to us shapes our minds, changes our hearts, and dramatically impacts how we live our lives.
A Sudanese woman who received one meal a day during her seven years in a refugee camp appreciates every bite of her three meals a day in America. She buys only what she needs and never throws away food.
A single mom who works three jobs to put food on the table and clothes on her children, sings praises to God when her oldest son starts working at a local gas station. Now she has help to keep the family afloat and pay the rent.
An affluent group of high school students visit a remote village in a developing part of the world. They quickly discover the children playing soccer barefoot and skipping in the rain are more joyful without video games and cell phones than they are.
A few years ago when I picked up my daughter at the airport after a service trip to Haiti, I asked her about her favorite moments. I could have predicted all of her responses except one, “Mom, there were no mirrors in Haiti. I loved it!”
Growing up in America, our teenagers are bombarded with hundreds of messages every day about what’s beautiful, desirable, good, and valuable. From their frequent social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, etc… they receive immediate feedback about their looks and thoughts. Friends become critics. Viewers become identity builders. Strangers shape perspectives.
I wish God had an Instagram account. Just think what He’d write to His children all over the world. I imagine God’s comments would sound something like these: “Hey, remember I made you and love you just the way you are.” Or “Don’t let that comment upset you. I have great plans for your life. You are awesome to Me.” Or “Walk close by Me side, child, and I will be your strength all day long. You can trust Me.”
In the book of Philippians, God challenges us to think about what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. That’s the perspective God wants us to have as we go about our everyday life. God has given us the power to choose our perspective each and every day.
If you find yourself stuck in a negative thought pattern, you can ask yourself these key questions:
What am I putting into my mind? (TV, social media, movies?)
Who is my greatest influence? (God, other people, social media?)
Am I thanking God? (good gifts, His goodness, His grace?)
Be encouraged… fill your mind with excellent thoughts, give thanks to God throughout your day, and see how a praiseworthy perspective will powerfully impact how you see yourself, your circumstances and your relationships.
The Power of Giving God Thanks Will Ignite Your Faith and Change Your World!
Thank You for Being a Part of the 3 O’Clock Wake Up Movement