One of the hardest things for me to do is to guard my thoughts. I am easily distracted and my mind wanders where it shouldn’t. While I might wish that my thoughts didn’t hurt anyone else, that’s not true because my wicked thoughts lead to wicked words and deeds toward others. More than that, my sinful thoughts offend God.
Today I was thinking about…thinking. There is a familiar passage in the Bible about what we should think about, Philippians 4:8-9.
Philippians 4:9 goes on to tell us what we should do – “practice these things” – and the amazing benefit of dwelling on these things – “the God of peace will be with you.”
But where can we discover these things that we should think about? This morning I made an important connection when I was studying Psalm 19. I noticed in verses 7-9 that the Word of God, the Bible, is described as perfect, sure, right, pure, clean and true. Those are some of the same words as the list of things to think about in Philippians 4:8.
We can discover the good things we should be thinking about when we read and study the Bible!
One question you might have is what part of the Bible should you start reading to guard your thoughts? There is no wrong place to start reading and studying the Bible. Every verse, chapter and book reveals who God is, what He has done, and what He will do for eternity. And that is worth thinking about.
- In Genesis, think about God’s creation, man’s sin, and God’s promise to send a Savior.
- Historical stories from Old Testament books such as Exodus, Joshua, Ruth, Esther, Daniel and Jonah remind us about God’s relationships with people and His holy character.
- Think about praying when you read Psalms.
- Proverbs helps us think and act with wisdom.
- Think about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ when reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
- When you read the New Testament epistles, you will think about how to live a godly life.
- Think about the future in the final book of Revelation.
So, I would encourage you to dwell on the truths found in God’s Word so that you may enjoy the peace of God mentioned in Philippians 4:9, plus all of the other benefits listed throughout Psalm 19. (When it comes to guarding my speech, I think of James 3. If you want to study that chapter in depth, you might want to check out my Bible study for Sunday School teachers of James 3.)
Do you think of other Bible verses that you have read, studied and memorized about guarding your thoughts? Please share them in the comment section below.