Friday, September 20, 2013

Down Time (Romans 8:5 and Philippians 4:8)

What do you think about throughout the day?

Honestly, being fully transparent with you, this is probably what I struggle with the most in my walk of faith.  

What I do my thoughts during the "down times". 

And yes I know it feels like we have very few of those down times, but really we do.  When we are in the car driving our kids to yet another activity, folding laundry, doing dishes, waiting in car pool lines.  It's not much, but we each have these little nuggets of time tucked away and we are free to think about what ever we want to think about.  Things no one else will know!!!

We can replay arguments we have had...  "Oh man, I should have said THAT!  And then she would have said THIS and I would have said THAT and..." Anyone else ever done that?

Perhaps we think of all the things that have annoyed us during the day...."I swear if he does that THING one more time..."  "She ALWAYS does THAT..."

Perhaps we make lists of all the things we want, desire, "need".  Things we need to do, need to buy, need to have.

Perhaps we simply sing along with the song on the radio, but what do those words we are singing really mean?  Would we want our kids singing those? Perhaps we think about the show we watched last night or the movie we want to see, are these the thoughts that SHOULD be running through our head?

I recently had this slammed in front of my face, and it was a HUGE wake up call.  Something I was reading (I can't remember what - that seems to happen a lot lately), was trying to be encouraging and the author suggested we would all feel a lot better about ourselves if what was going on inside of each of us, actually showed up on the outside.  If we were fully transparent.

WHAT?!?!?  

That is NOT ENCOURAGING!!!  

I was APPALLED at this idea!!  I was mortified to think that someone would have access to what I am thinking, to what is going on in my mind! That others might see that!!!

Hmm, well, that's a pretty good indicator that my thoughts aren't where they should be, huh?

Romans 8:5 says, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Sprit desires."  

Is your mind wondering to what the Spirit desires or what our sinful nature, our culture and our friends desire?  Are you not even sure what it is the Spirit would desire for us to think about?  Check out Philippians 4:8.

It says, "Finally my 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."

That is a pretty long list.  Your mind can freely wander to anything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.  These are things the Spirit desire for us.  These things are all in accordance with the Spirit.  They are down time acceptable.

It's not easy to retrain your mind.  It's not easy to stay positive, and grounded in the Spirit.  It is a hard thing to do, but it is so very, very worth it. 

What are you going to be doing with your down time?