Choices Part 4 – The Big Eight

This is part 4 about Choices. The idea is that we get to choose what we think about and how we respond to everything that happens to us.

One of the greatest truth in life is this: It’s not what happens to us (our past, present or future circumstances) or what people do or say to us that determine our emotions. Our emotions, words and actions come from what we think about after things happen to us. We control all of our emotions, words and actions by what we think. Emotions, words and actions are data telling us what we have been thinking.

I have been sharing some of my favorite Scriptures that have helped me over the years to transform my mind and heart. Today I want to focus on Philippians 4:8-9. this verse gives us eight big things for our minds to dwell on.

“Finally, brothers, 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.”

Did you catch the 8 powerful, life changing words? I guess you could call them the Big Eight: true, noble/honorable, right, pure, lovely/beautiful, admirable/adorable, excellent and praiseworthy.

If we can get control over our thoughts and think about such things, it can lead to controlling our emotions, words, actions and we can avoid all kinds of pain and hurt in our relationships. It starts by making the choice to monitor what we are putting into our minds. There is so much available to us through technology that it becomes difficult to filter out the things that do not make that list.

Take a quick inventory of what you have been watching on TV or the Internet. What movies have you been watching? What books or magazines have you been reading? Who have you been listening to? What has captured your attention?

The things we feed our mind affect what we think about. No one controls how we think therefore, no one has the power to control how you feel, speak or act. When we get into unhealthy conflict with someone it almost always is because our thinking has been influenced by our emotions. Conflict is a good thing, because it helps us grow, but it is our unhealthy responses that lead to the destruction of the relationship. Fear is usually the culprit. I will be leading a Marriage workshop in a couple of weeks called Refocus Your Marriage. We will be looking at this idea of fear influencing how we handle conflict. If you are married, I would encourage you to sign up for the work shop at NewPointe.

If we can make the Big Eight a part of our thought process it will spur on the transformation of our minds. Using those eight words as a filter for what we allow into our minds and what gets our attention will bring new levels of peace, love, joy, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness and self-control.


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