Monday, January 30, 2012

S.T.O.P. Wrong Thinking

"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" (Philippians 4:8).

Fear. Anxiety. Worry. Depression. Anger. Bitterness. Jealousy. Covetousness. Pride. Envy. All are more than negative emotions. All are sinful thoughts. I've heard some refer to such emotions, such patterns of thought, as "stinkin' thinkin'."

Earlier this year, a wise, younger brother in the Lord shared with me a biblical and effective way to fight off sinful thinking. He taught me the acrostic "STOP." The acrostic represents the following spiritual disciplines: Seek the Lord; Think of things above; Other-mindedness; and Perseverance.

The verse that best represents the "T" in the "STOP" acrostic is Philippians 4:8 in which Paul encourages his readers to think rightly by thinking about that which is pleasing to God and consistent with His holy character.

So when negative thoughts invade your mind and you begin to dwell on them, stop! Seek the Lord in prayer. Having done so, dwell on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. If you seek the Lord in prayer and dwell on the before-mentioned things, not only will the sinful thoughts fade and disappear; but you will also find yourself thinking more of others. And, by God's grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will be better equipped to persevere through the trials of life.