Sunday, May 8, 2022

Taking A Step Back To Think Carefully

"Finally, brothers and sisters, 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, NIV

A past neighbor of mine was frustrated by the poison ivy that grew next to his home. At wit's end finally, he went to the local hardware store and bought a product to kill the plant at its root system.

When he got home, He quickly doused the plant in the new liquid. He watched every day for weeks, and he was delighted when he came home from work to discover the ivy shriveling up.

But the following weekend, when he went to mow the lawn, he discovered it wasn't just the ivy that had died. The plant next to it, a beautiful flowering bush that his wife loved, had also been killed.

He showed his dilemma to a friend who did lawn work professionally. "Well, you sprayed it too close to your bush. The roots take their nourishment from the soil, and if the soil isn't good, then your plants die."

My neighbor's conversation with his friend caused me to take a step back, pause and reflect. 

Like plants, what we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions. Philippians 4:8 tells us to program our minds with true and noble, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy thoughts. 

We absorb nutrients from what we surround ourselves with. That means if we're taking in negative content that encourages us to disdain others or walk-in sinful ways, our spirit will absorb it. 

Join me this week to examine what we put in our minds through the content we're reading, conversations, watching on TV, listening to, and browsing the internet. Is it good content that refreshes your heart? Is it pure and admirable? 

If you encounter unfavorable material, conversations, or thoughts, replace them with good truths.

Friend, above all, read God's Word and pray. Won't you join me in asking God to help us focus on what is good and pure? Sometimes it's easier said than done at times, I know. It takes practice, But we have an anchor; God will see us through.


God, I confess: sometimes, I don't guard my heart carefully. I let in content that doesn't honor You, and that doesn't feed my spirit. Help me to be more selective in the future. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Paula this is so good!! We often carelessly allow things to linger in our minds that then affects God's truth. May we be more diligent at living Phil. 4:8!!

    1. Thank you so much, Donna. Amen, diligence indeed. Examining what we allow in our minds and throwing out untruths is really important.

  2. Paula, this is such a good analogy.The very things we which we permit to saturate our heart soil will either foster life or death. Thank you, as I will be more on guard this week!

  3. Thank you so much, Joanne. I try to guard my heart and thoughts and what I read or watch on TV, not letting anything evil in. But Satan is that way, sneakily creeping evil in at times, being quick and recognizing it was him and throwing it out is so important.


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