Hmmmm, strange title indeed...
“Wood is VERY IMPORTANT!”
Here is a true conversation that recently took place at my house:
Son: Momma, how do you make wood?
Me: (Thinking to myself…surely he knows by now!) You get it from trees. Then, different machines can turn the wood into different textures and things…you know, like wood to build houses or wood to make furniture. Does that help?
Son: OH, wood is VERRRRRY IMPORTANT! Wood is necessary to make things for trains! I need it for my wooden train table and tracks. I need it for my train layout…(He went on and on...)
For those who know my boy, he is ALL. THINGS. TRAINS. Sometimes, I assume it is all he thinks about! He will make trains out of *anything*!
The Apostle Paul writes about what Christians should be thinking about.
“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, NKJV).
The idea of meditate in this verse means to take an inventory, reckon, think on. 1 We should take inventory of what consistently goes through our minds on a daily basis! Taking inventory for a business takes a lot of precise and accurate work. One has to really analyze the product and focus on the process.
The same holds true for what our mind thinks about. For example, when we do the hard work to take inventory of our daily thoughts, do we find that we have thoughts of consistent frustration? Are we often discontent or easily angered? Or, do we consistently take a deep breath and give our concerns to God and think on His Truth (in the Bible)?
This term meditate also carries the idea “to compute over and over what is good and pure. In this way, Christians can renew their minds so that they will not conform to the evil habits of this world.” 2
A good rule of thumb to see if we are thinking on the Philippians 4:8 types of things is to analyze and ask ourselves: is what I am thinking about right now honoring to God, or is it a self-gratifying type of mindset?
Here is a quick example. Let’s analyze complaining. If we find we are often guilty of it when life’s bumps happen, then we should consider a specific Bible passage on the topic, such as Philippians 2:14—“Do all things without complaining…” If we see that what we are thinking about goes directly against what the Bible teaches (like in this case of complaining), then we can be sure we are not doing Philippians 4:8! We really need to guard our thoughts and be sure that they are filtered through what God desires for us and has given us in His Word.
I like the fun phrase, Happy thoughts; just think happy thoughts…
Yet, this really should not be our ‘end goal’ in life’s difficulties, should it!? Our mindset should be, Truth-filled thoughts, think only Truth-filled thoughts…Truth, Truth… Then, joy will follow shortly behind.
So, note to my son (and note to self): sure, wood is important, but the Bible is MOST IMPORTANT!
Take it easy,
1 Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary for Android phones. Published by Thomas Nelson.
2 Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, and H. Wayne House, eds. Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible.
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997).