Sunday, January 27, 2013

think! (philippians 4:8)

When I transferred to Grace twelve years ago (how is that even possible?), the theme verse for the year was Philippians 4:8. "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" (ESV). Honestly, there are many times when I've tried not to think of this verse ... because it can be horribly convicting.

I woke up this morning with a yearning to reconnect with the Lord. In the chaos of speech season (which consumes nearly every evening and seven Saturdays in a row), work, and book reviewing, I haven't taken much time at all to read the Bible, pray, or spend time with God. And it's showing in my life. It shows in my attitude, in my thoughts, and in what I choose to do in my free time.

So I didn't go to church this morning. Instead, I made some coffee, pulled out my prayer journal, and opened my Bible. I went to Romans (my favorite book) and started reading. Romans 2:16 gave me pause: "And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life" (NLT). I know that I am forgiven and will not face eternal judgement ... but this verse served to remind me that God knows everything I do, say, and think—even the things that I would be horribly ashamed of if they came to light. And that's what caused me to remember the "think" verse.

My biggest area of weakness is media—books, movies, and TV shows. Recently, there have been several things I've watched and read that I know wouldn't pass through the Philippians 4:8 filter; it's not even debatable. So I've set up some guidelines for myself that I will only be able to stick to with the Lord's help. It will be difficult. But in the light of eternity, does it really matter if I know what happens on Scandal?

I've also asked someone I trust if she will help me be accountable about my media consumption and encourage me to spend time with God. It's far too easy for me to rationalize things when I know no one else needs to know about it.

So that's what I've been thinking about today. I'm so thankful that God never gives up on me!

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