Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Tobacco manufacturers put a warning on cigarette packages that smoking may be hazardous to your health. I want to tell you, in the same way, that wrong thinking can be hazardous to your health. Here's a spiritual test to help you gain control of your thought life so you can live a holy life.
The Reverence Test — Pure
We are to be thinking about things which are pure. This word means free of contamination. Originally, this word was used to describe whether an animal or object was pure enough to be used in worship? That is, could it be offered to God? Could I take this thought and say, "Lord, I worship You with this thought"?
Let me close with this final thought, the way not to think bad thoughts is not by trying not to think bad thoughts. Let me illustrate. Try not to think of a submarine right now. Are you sure you're not thinking about a submarine? The only way not to think about a submarine is not by trying not to think about a submarine, but by thinking about something else.
Romans 12:21 says, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Learn to think God's thoughts after Him. And use Paul's standard mentioned in Philippians 4:8 as the grid through which everything must come before it finds lodging in your mind.
When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.