Right Living Begins with Right Thinking
A number of years ago, the news media picked up the story of a woman known as ''Garbage Mary.''
She lived in a smelly Chicago tenement amid mounds of garbage. She spent her time rummaging through trash cans. She would bum cigarettes off her neighbors.
Police took her to a psychiatric hospital after she was stopped for questioning and found to be in a confused state of mind.
When they went into her filthy apartment, they were astounded to find stock certificates and bank books indicating she was worth at least a million dollars.
She was the daughter of a wealthy Illinois lawyer.
It's a pathetic story, but it pictures the lives of many professing Christians, who could be immersing their thought life in that which is true, dignified, right, pure, lovely, of good repute; that which is virtuous and worthy of praise.
But instead, they surround themselves with moral filth, wallowing daily in raunchy TV programs, polluting their minds with the sordid stories of this condemned world.
They ought to be focusing their thought life on the things of God and Christ.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ''Beware of what you set your mind on because that you surely will become.
Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter. Paul spent most of his Christian life in Jail.
So he is not writing out of a theory. He is not writing something he thought up. He is writing out of personal experience.
Verse 8 says ''Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these thing.
Spiritual stability is a result of how you think. As I said, the key phrase is in verse 8: Let's look at it now - ''Let your mind dwell on these things.'' This is a call for right thinking. The verb is logizesthe.
Paul says in Chapter 4 ...
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