Here’s A Simple Formula That Will Bring Peace To Your Heart and Mind

What are you dwelling on these days? What thoughts are circling around in your mind?

Did you know that humans can have around 60,000 thoughts per day!? According to research 75% of thoughts are negative and 95% are repetitive. Interesting, isn’t it? God understands our tendencies towards negative thoughts, worry and fear.

We find plenty of scriptures that teach on the importance of our thoughts but, there is a chapter that particularly speaks to me – Philippians, chapter 4. Perhaps it’s because there is a promise contained in an “If, then statement” that the God of peace will be with you and me. It’s a sort of roadmap for our thought life that if we follow, holds the promise that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I desire that!

It’s safe to say that we live in a world that is desperate for God’s peace, His love, joy and freedom and we as His followers get to share the hope found in Jesus with those in our lives. But, if we are honest we too can fall into the statistics mentioned above, if we are not intentionally doing something about it. We can become discouraged or jaded.

We live in this world that is filled with trouble of every kind and if we are engaging our culture, we will be fully aware of the hopelessness that abounds. It’s why so many people are checking out or worse yet, giving up. (PS: THIS is EXACTLY why we do what we do here at STAR).

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So, back to Philippians for a moment. Here is what it says in chapter 4:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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.”

So that’s the list we were given:

True. Noble. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Praiseworthy

The scripture says to think about such things.

The challenge is that our minds are like bustling cities, teeming with thoughts—some positive, some negative. As followers of Jesus, we’re called to guard our thought life. I’m a visual learner and this visual has helped me:

Have you ever been to a venue that required you to be on the “guest list” in order to get in the door? The bouncer at the door (usually a big, tough looking guy) was at the door to ensure that only those on the list would get in.

Can you picture it?

Someone shows up and is not on the guest list and the bouncer says, “outta here”, sorry but you are not on the list.

What if we set up a “bouncer” at the door of our minds that ensured that only thoughts on the Philippians’ list would be allowed.

Let’s re-read the “guest list” that Paul describes:

“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.”

Negative thoughts will come at us but, since they are NOT on the list, they simply won’t get invited in! We will acknowledge their presence but, we don’t need to welcome them in for coffee and spend time with them.

How different will our approach to our days be when we put this scripture into practice? Our thought life shapes our actions, emotions, and spiritual well-being. I don’t know about you but, I want the biggest, toughest bouncer at the door of my mind.

According to the stats, only a tiny fraction of thoughts—0.01% are actually positive! That’s around 6 positive thoughts out of every 60,000. Yikes. But, I’m extremely thankful that God teaches us a better way to live!

As followers of Jesus, we have the formula for peace. Let’s not be passive about this. Let’s intentionally dwell on thoughts that honor our God, uplift others, and bring peace to our hearts and minds.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.Colossians 3:16

Claudia Guardado-Wittel
Director of Philanthropy & Advancement

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3 Comments

  1. Robin Ince on June 6, 2024 at 2:23 pm

    What a great message, Claudia! Philippians 4:8 is one of my favorites! When putting our 3 to bed as youngsters, I would recite that verse to them & we would then name different things in our/God’s world that were: true, good, noble, lovely, pure. It helped us all to fall asleep peacefully & with happy hearts.

    • Claudia Wittel on June 7, 2024 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Robin! So great to hear from you. What a wonderful gift you gave your kids by teaching them to dwell on this scripture… I love it! Blessings!

  2. Cindy Gibson on June 9, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you SO much! I really needed to read what you wrote because I have so many negative thoughts going through my mind. Your message inspires me to keep working on having more positive thoughts. Your verses from Philippians are some of my favorites. Thank you for the encouragement!

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