Happy Wednesday friends. It’s the middle of the week and I pray wherever you are that your week is going well. In my time with the Lord lately the following verse from Colossians 3:2 has been coming to mind. It states,“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”
So much of a persons joy and contentment comes from our perspective. It all comes down to what we are feeding our minds with each day. For example, is your days spent worrying and fretting over the “what ifs” in life, or are you surrendering those thoughts to the Lord? Are you watching, reading, or listening to anything that triggers discontentment or envy? It is easy to allow our minds to be filled with worry, stress, anger, etc., especially during a difficult season. At times you may wonder why you cannot get certain thoughts from your minds, or why you cannot feel God’s presence in a situation. However, if we are dwelling on the things of this world, that can produce in us discontent, fear, and worry.
I love HGTV and shows like “Fixer Upper,” “Rehab Addict,” etc. In and of themselves they are not bad, and may seem harmless. Although, if watching them makes you discontent or envious with what you have then you may need to reevaluate your viewing habits. Another example is if you are constantly afraid and filled with fear regarding certain situations — are you watching shows that make the fearful thoughts in your mind worse? Are you reading books that keep your mind in a constant state of fretting?
One last example is one that I have been guilty of in the past has to do with Facebook and Pinterest. It is so easy to scroll through the feeds and begin comparing yourselves to others. These social media outlets tend to help folks make life look picture perfect, but nobody’s life is perfect. When it seems like others have the perfect house, the perfect health, a wonderful husband, etc., it can stir up thoughts and feelings in our hearts before we know what hit us. These outlets are not bad in themselves, but if we allow them to grow seeds of jealousy, discontentment, and bitterness then it is time to take a step back from them.
This post is part of “The View Looks Fine From Here” series that I started last week. Being homebound and bedbound leaves a lot of time for me to dwell on life and thoughts like never before. Some days I do not even leave my bedroom and “view” is not very exciting. Because of this, I try to be guarded in how I fill my mind. Life is hard and dealing with a chronic illness everyday is not easy. I learned a long time ago that if I was going to have the right mindset during these circumstances that I needed to be guarded with how I spent my time — what I am watching, reading, listening to, etc. I am sick enough without adding in worries, discontentment, and jealousy. My days and suffering are so much easier to deal with when I am focusing on ” the things above,” and not on my current circumstances.
Below are some questions I came up with a couple years ago to help me with this, and I recently found them, and been using them again. I pray that they help you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and that you allow His peace and joy to fill your hearts and mind daily.
Questions to Ask Ourselves:
1. Are the television shows and movies I am watching glorifying to the Lord? How do I feel once I’ve watched it? Does it make me have sinful thoughts or attitude?
2. Does the music I listen to glorify the Lord? Does it cause me to want to draw closer to Him or does it make me discontent? Does it change my perspective for the better?
3. Does the books and magazines I read glorify the Lord or do they bring negative thoughts to my mind?
4. Does the conversations I engage in glorify the Lord or myself? Does the words I use affirm others or tear others down?
Also, below are some Bible verses that have helped me along the way regarding these areas, and I pray they encourage you as you focus your gaze on Christ, and surrender to Him daily.
Philippians 4: 8-9 – “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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Proverbs 4:23 – “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 – “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”