Think about these things … I’m familiar with that phrase, aren’t you? As women, we think about anything and everything – ALL THE TIME! I mean, is there ever a waking moment when we aren’t thinking about these things, those things, a million and one things?!
We generally go to bed thinking about these things, wake up thinking about these things and go about the day thinking about these things. It’s absolutely exhausting!
Do you know what the phrase think about these things actually means in the Greek?
The word, think, is the word logizomai. It means to count, reckon, compute, calculate, to take into account, to consider, to gather or infer.
Isn’t that what we do? We count and recount, consider, infer (i.e. read into), and calculate (or mis-calculate) all day long. We spend so much time thinking that we often get off track about what and how we should be thinking. We make determinations, we exaggerate our thinking, we over think and over analyze until we just throw up our hands and say, “WHATEVER!”
Instead, we need to begin to “four-eight” some things. What does that mean, you’re probably thinking. Several years ago at a women’s retreat I heard a speaker give a talk based on this verse. She talked about how we need to “four-eight” negative thinking and turn it into positive thinking. I went home from the retreat and shared that phrase with my then, 10-year-old son. Like his mother, he often struggles with negative thoughts and attitudes. We all do to some extent, don’t we? I told him we needed to begin “four-eighting” our negatives. We even came up with a hand gesture. When he or I would shift into the “bad attitude” realm, the other would just say “Hey! You need to four-eight that!” and we would do the hand motion and wink.
That’s what you and I are going to learn to do with our thinking. And we’re going to end up with something really extraordinary, I promise! After all the entire book of Philippians can be summed up in one word and “WHATEVER” isn’t the word! The theme of Philippians is JOY! And as Paul closes his letter to the church at Philippi, he is doing so with great encouragement and positive affirmation not a “WHATEVER” kind of attitude.
He is saying think about these things so that joy and peace will rule in your heart. Take a look at the verse directly following our focal verse.
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 4:9
What things was Paul telling us to practice thinking on?
Things that are …
So here’s how this online study is going to work …
Beginning in week 2 (that’s next week) we are going to take a category of thought and determine what and how we’re thinking. We’ll measure our thoughts against the truths from God’s Word and see if we can four-eight a few things. Our categories of thought will be …
- Week 2 – Thoughts of Self
- Week 3 – Thoughts of Others
- Week 4 – Thoughts of Worry
- Week 5 – Thoughts of the Imagination
In our sixth and final week we’re going to learn to replace the “WHATEVERS” with something extraordinary.
For this week (that’s week 1) your homework is simple.
- First, I want you to memorize Philippians 4:8. You can download the pretty little Scripture image at the top of this post and print it out if you’d like.
- Second, use this Whatever Journal to chart your thoughts. That’s right, I want you to keep a journal this week. So, download this Whatever Journal and when you find yourself “thinking on things” write down the thought and tag it with one of the headings listed on the journal pages.
Throughout the week, I’ll post questions (probably not everyday but several times during the week) and you can comment on these questions. Now, in order for this online study to be interesting, you’re going to have to post comments. I want this to be a conversation not a sermon! LOL!
My prayer for us during this study is that we will …
1 – Learn to capture our thoughts
2 – Immediately determine whether they are “worthy” thoughts (and if they’re not, “four-eight” them and make them “worthy.)
3 – Say “WHATEVER” to the unworthy thoughts
4 – Find joy and encouragement as we turn our thoughts to that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
So let’s decide today to think on these things, shall we?