Articles by Stan Dean

What Do You Think?

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I read that the average person has about fifty to sixty thousand thoughts pass through his mind on any given day. That should challenge each one of us to ask ourselves, “Of all the daily thoughts that pass through our minds, what gets the most attention?”

It probably depends a lot on who we are and what our priorities are that provide the answer to this question. To illustrate, I remember reading a little exchange that took place between Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Piglet asks, “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” Pooh answered, “What’s for breakfast?” Then he asks, “What do you say, Piglet?” Piglet enthusiastically replies, “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” Pooh thought about Piglet’s answer for a moment and said, “It’s the same thing.” You see, for Pooh it was all about the food.

We, too, are probably guilty from time to time of thinking about food (and other things) way too much, but there are far more important matters that should occupy our minds. Jesus tested our priorities by asking, “Is not life more than food…?” (Matthew 6:25). Paul also taught, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Thus, God made it clear that our thoughts should not be centered on worldly things, but rather on spiritual matters. Following are a few other Bible passages that stress this truth (with my underlining for emphasis). The Psalms begin with, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but is delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1, 2).

Then, turning to the New Testament, Paul writes, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). He also penned, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Of course, this does not mean that every waking thought has to be about something spiritual. If that were the case, we could not hold down a job, etc. But it does mean that spiritual thoughts should permeate our minds so as to govern our lives in whatever we do. Solomon summarized this well when he wrote, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

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