29 May Thriving During COVID-19 – Meditate on These Things
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
It is a widely accepted truth that one of the most important contributors to our quality of life and our reach in life is our thought life. This is especially much more important when we face difficult times or find ourselves in low moments in life. For example, the issue of how you see yourself during a difficult time is especially important; do you see yourself as a failure or just having had a failed attempt. This attitude or way of thinking is critical to whether you can come out of your failure or even leverage the failure for eventual success.
If you study the life stories of some of the most successful people in history, from scientific luminaries such as Einstein, Edison, and Freud to business gurus such as Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs as well as sports legends such Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali, you will discover that for most of them, failures were pivotal turning points that propelled them forward into success. They were intuitively aware that failure is something that they should anticipate rather than be fearful of when it came to achieving the extraordinary. What makes a person successful is not failing but learning how to handle failure. The difference between successful people and others is how they think about failure. This is why your thought life is particularly important.
Philippian 4:8 tells us how to evaluate our thoughts. He even gives us some adjectives with which we can assess and guide our thoughts. One example is purity. Are your thoughts pure? One way the enemy introduces impurity into our lives through our thoughts. Concerning evil or impure thoughts, James tells us, “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:15). When we allow evil thoughts to take root, they eventually translate to sinful actions. Another adjective he uses is “virtue”. Are your thoughts virtuous? Virtue means of benefit, asset, or advantage. Are your thoughts giving you an advantage or of benefit to you in life, or are they taking you backward. Even when you find yourself in a very dark situation, you can allow your thought to focus on the advantages in that situation or on the disadvantages.
Perhaps the most important lesson from this passage is the fact that we can choose our thought. You have the power to choose what thoughts you allow to stay and which one you disallow. When you meditate, you allow a thought to fester and take root. It is one thing to have a fleeting thought—it is another to meditate on the thought and let it take root. If you are going to be successful and thrive even in tough times, you must be deliberate about the thoughts you allow in your mind and what you meditate on.
Let us defeat COVID-19 by staying CALM, SAFE, CLEAN, and SANCTIFIED!
Pastor Jide Lawore
Lead Pastor, Agape House of Worship