“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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV)
When our lives are completely broken and massively disrupted, it can be very difficult to focus on the good that exists in it. Yet, that is what Paul is encouraging each of us to do. Focus on the good that exists in our life. Talk about those aspects of your life that give you joy and energy. Do this and you will find peace.
It seems like Paul is asking a lot of us lot here. I know how hard it can be to focus on the good parts in my life while my son’s life was spiraling out of control with his addiction. From personal experience, putting this verse to work in my life, was one of the more significant steps in my transformational journey.
Paul’s instruction challenges us to do more than simply being positive. It is about living in an emotional mindset that provides an opportunity to find peace and comfort even in difficult times.
To help you see this verse in a different light and how I applied it, let me share a valuable lesson about the difference between inferior emotions and superior emotions.
Inferior emotions are behaviors such as fear, doubt, worry, and anger. Inferior emotions are defensive or blocking emotions. A person who is in an inferior emotional state is closed and are blocking their ability to reach out to God or hear God provide his goodness, love and encouragement on them.
Superior emotions are emotions like gentleness, detachment, love, peace. Superior emotions reflect behaviors that are receptive, open, and accessible. In a superior emotional state a person is able to hear and receive God’s guidance, instruction and love. It is in that state of receptivity that God can share his wisdom with us.
Problems cannot be solved in a highly emotionally charged state. Emotions do not have intellectual power; they are emotions not thoughts. This is why focusing away from the adversity, not in it is so critically important.
Next time you find yourself in a situation where everything is out of control or messed up, step back and change your emotional channel. Instead of getting drawn into a reactive situation where you are blocking your ability to think clearly and receive God’s instruction, remove yourself from the chaos. Go outside. Take a walk. Go for a run. Ride your bike. Meditate. Pray to God for peace and guidance.
In a quieter, more gentle state of mind, focus on all the good that exists in your life – your other wonderful children, your spouse, your career, the great experiences that you have been blessed with throughout your life, and the goodness of God in other areas of your life and remember He has brought you through other difficult times.
When you focus on these things, you are detaching from the present situation and position yourself to live in a more powerful, peaceful place. In this peaceful place, you will discover solutions that make sense. The more you practice these behaviors, the better you will become at focusing on God, his goodness, and his guidance in difficult times.
Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke can help. He’s an internationally recognized speaker who has made it his commitment to minister to parents struggling with addiction in their families. Let him share with you how to create an action plan that will move you, your family, and your addicted child in a healthier direction.
Contact Dave today to book him to speak at your church, parent’s group, business organization, or neighborhood association. Go to http://www.100pedals.com/speaker-dave-cooke/ for more information or email dave@100Pedals.com.
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