By Lois Evans
“The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:7
In his classic book True Spirituality, the late Frances Schaeffer said that the true spiritual battle and the loss of victory are always in the thought world.
When I am plagued by negative or destructive thoughts I work at replacing them with positive, uplifting ones. This is not always easy to do, especially for people who have established a pattern of pessimism, but it is possible. All things are possible with God.
As a wife and mother, I have found several great antidotes for gloomy thoughts in my home. Sharing Tony’s life and ministry helps me keep my mind and heart centered on the good things God is doing in our lives. Another cure is spending uninterrupted time in Bible study. Store God’s Word in your heart and mind through reading, memorizing and quoting Scripture such as Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, and Philippians 4:6-13.
Another way to combat negative thoughts is to develop a regular meeting time with a prayer partner so you can encourage one another. Finally, be careful not to overwork or over-schedule yourself. There needs to be a balance.
The wonderful thing to me about the fourth chapter of Philippians is that it shows how the changing circumstances of Paul’s life did not affect the inner contentment he enjoyed. What Paul possessed was not self-sufficiency but divine sufficiency, a calm acceptance of life’s pressures. He had allowed the peace of Christ to do “sentry duty” around his heart and mind.
Our thoughts are like measles—they’re catching. What type of thoughts and attitudes are your spouse and children catching from you?
Talk About It
What is the atmosphere of your marriage and home? Is it dark and gloomy or positive and Christ-centered?