PRACTICE THESE THINGS

Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:8,9

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8,9)

Our behavior must follow our beliefs and not just our feelings. Our normal tendency is to act on the basis of our feelings. If we are feeling depressed, we usually act out these feelings. We may withdraw or become irritable and frustrated. Our feelings are greatly affected by the circumstances we are experiencing at the moment.

Feelings are deceptive and uncertain. But truth gives us clarity and direction. When we feel down and depressed, we must let our minds think on God’s truth — “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, things worthy of praise.” We must focus on what we know is true about God and His providential care over us. We have to go back to the basis of the faith. When we are focusing on truth, we have God’s direction as we make choices on our actions.

Once we have moved from feelings to faith, we then begin to act on the basis of the truth and not on the basis of our feelings. Remember our feelings can be deceptive, but truth is always dependable. We must recognize our negative feelings, and let our minds immediately go to what we know is true. Then we can make wise choices about our actions.

Throughout each day we will make choices about our behavior. These choices will be driven by our feelings or by our beliefs. When we act on the basis of our feelings, our actions will be reactive. But when we act on the basis of our beliefs (God’s truth), then our actions will be proactive. We will be obedient to the truth.

When we begin to practice our beliefs (act on them), then we will experience the peace of God, for the God of peace is with us. On the other hand, when we our actions are based solely on our feelings, especially when we have negative feelings, we will have a lack of peace.

Let me summarize. When we are experiencing negative feelings, we must immediately think on things that are true, things we have learned from Scripture. Then we must put into practice what we know is true rather than what we are feeling at the moment. It takes practice and discipline, but God’s truth can change the way we act in a dramatic way.

Lord Jesus, give me the ability to act on the basis of Your truth rather than on the basis of my fickle feelings. Help me to discipline my mind to think on things that are true, pure and right. Then enable me to act on these things. I know I can do this because the God of peace is with me.

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