Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I love coffee. And I love coffee shops. I also love my cousin. And Jesus. So imagine my delight whenever I get a chance to meet my cousin at a coffee shop and partake in pleasant conversations about Jesus and life, all while sipping a piping hot latte. It was on such an occasion that I shared with her an anxious thought I’d been having, to which she reminded me of these verses and shared an enlightening concept I’m about to share with you (Thank you, cousin Rachel).
Anxiety (or any other vice or sin) is a thing we humans all experience due to our broken world. But just because it comes naturally (easily), doesn’t mean we should just give in. If we succumb to our natural, baser instincts all the time - good heavens! - The world would be far worse than it is! Luckily, humanity was also given virtues that call us to be better. Especially if we are Christians. We have been doubly blessed with the aid of the Holy Spirit as we grow into our best selves. But it takes renewing of our earthly minds. We must constantly stay on top of our thought patterns, as we could so easily fall back into our old ways.
Renewing our minds is a very lovely concept. But how does one practically apply it? My cousin came up with this clever way of envisioning the renewal of our minds: Imagine two filters in our brains. We’ll call one the “Jesus Filter.” The other we’ll call the “Earthly Filter.” So, let’s take a thought and put it through these filters and see what the outcome is!
If we choose to put a thought into the Earthly Filter, we normally respond to that thought with less than holy reactions (anxiety, fear, lust, wrath, jealousy, selfishness, etc…). Trusting our Earthly Filter will generally not cause us to grow in virtue. And most likely will distract us from the Truth.
Now let’s put a thought into the Jesus Filter. You may be surprised to see a once very anxious thought get renewed into one of trust and peace. Christ gracefully renews our thoughts through His courage, peace, purity, contentment, charity, love, healing.
Now whenever I notice I’m feeling anxious, I pray for God to reset the filter to my thoughts. This is something we should do daily. Like in the morning, when you’re changing your COFFEE FILTER, ask God to change your THOUGHT FILTER too! 2 Corinthians 10:5 says we should “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” These thought patterns of anxiety, depression, fear, rage, jealousy, lust…whatever it is… Jesus wants to free you from it! And the amazing thing is… He actually can.
Take a Victory and a Blessing, mates!