“Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” (Philippians 4:8 The Voice)
Here is a final attempt to show the Philippians (and us) the way to experience peace. The battles of perplexity and anxiousness are won first in our thoughts. If we can fill our minds with the light of truth, all things will be seen more clearly. If we find our way to the beauty, and behold what is lovely, good, and right, our hearts will settle. Even when faced with the most difficult situation, or a person causing us to despair. We have no control over how or where they stand. Where I stand matters more than anyone or anything else. And what I choose to let my mind be filled with will determine my response. My actions are what others see. My words are what they will hear. What flows from my heart into the world will tell of the well it draws from.
My mind is the engine which generates judgement or love. Since God is the judge, I must generate love. Loving God should fuel loving others the way He loves me. I want to generate this love. So I must determine my steps by filling my mind with beauty and truth. What I let my heart feed on is the fuel for my life. Because my heart is the wellspring of life, I want to filter and protect its contents. Just like my water filter at home. I go to the best source of water I have, and then let the filter clean what I cannot see. Instead of judging others based on what I see, I want to let love and God’s truth be the filter. So much in our world seems dark, and yet I have seen light in otherwise dark places. Situations that seem to be lost causes, or stories of terrible events at the hands of people have moved me to look for the heart of the matter. Not to excuse but to look for redemption, the way God redeemed me. God loves with an unconditional love, and this is the way I am to love. It is a difficult thing sometimes, yet each day is a chance to judge less and love more. When I ponder judgement, my pride takes a shadowy stance on my heart. When I ponder how to bring forth God’s love and fill my mind with how He sees, there is light and peace.
Heavenly Father, You are a good and gracious God. Out of Your Heavenly Kingdom flows life and redemption. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to us as a human just like me. I am moved to tears when I think of this love. You did not reign down judgement, but sacrificial mercy and grace. Yes, there are consequences for sin, but I leave this judgement to You. Help me to see with Your eyes, and love with Your heart wrapped with mine. Let my hands and feet be in sync with Your plan and will for me. Fill my mind with Your goodness and truth. In Jesus’ name amen.
“But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace.” James 3:17-18 TPT
Godly wisdom promotes life and love. Its ways are pure because God is pure. Sowing seeds from a peaceful grounding in this wisdom will bring settledness. Drawing direction from above allows a natural pause that must go past my initial emotions to reach the unwavering plumb line of God. There is peace in the pausing that fosters a better chance of sowing good seeds in response, rather than the unintended hypocrisy of selfish words spoken from prideful reactions based on initial assumptions.
Blowing off steam never brings resolution. Sure, I may feel better when I spit out all the ways someone has done me wrong, but what are the effects? An ego boost when someone validates me? Is that what I am really after? No. I want peace. Truly. I feel better when I am peaceful. Life feels more solid and my existence seems more one with creation. I want more harmony with the people in my world. I am faced with opportunities every day to be more of a peacemaker. And to be honest, I haven’t sown enough peace in the seeds I am tossing around. I get caught up in the actions of others and how they affect my day. I know there is a wiser way to seek solutions, for justice, and to bring light where there is darkness. I must be careful not to fuel the darkness, but cover the opposition with more gentle kindness. If I am called to clear the temple of the money changers, I will be ready. In the meantime, I need to heed the call to sow for growing more peace.
Lord, I want to be a peacemaker. Help me to be an unwavering picture of Your wisdom in my life. Forgive me for sowing discontent and not peace. I am grateful for opportunities to try again. Help me remember to draw from Your wisdom above and not myself. In Jesus’ name, amen.