Today in Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas we read:
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Think about good things. Too often, our thoughts drift to recounting our transgressions or replaying scenes of conflict, searching for the perfect retort—the “I wish I would have said …” comment that influence our opponents.
Or we live waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop. Recently, I remarked to an acquaintance about the weather on a particularly beautiful day. He responded, “Yeah, if only it’d stay this way.” As soon as good things happen, we brace ourselves for the next bad thing to come along.
St. Paul proposes a different mindset. Instead of focusing on what isn’t working, waiting for the next bad thing to happen, he suggests we turn our attention to what is working. What is working is evidence of the kingdom in our midst. Paul describes a vision of heaven, and it’s exciting to realize there’s proof positive of it in our world.
For today, pay attention to your thoughts. When they slip to the negative, or you find yourself replaying a difficult scene in your mind, stop. Turn your attention to something good or worthwhile in the situation, and focus on that. Be sure to pray for those you’re in conflict with; it is remarkable how God’s grace will release the tension when you do.