“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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Phil 4:8-9
What does it mean to think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praise worthy? My wife, Kelly, answered it this way. “To think about things that are Godly, they are healthy and positive things. Things that will build us up and not tear us down.” And then she told me this story.
Imagine you are at a parade. You have seen many fun and amazing balloon floats go by. But then it happens…a float goes by that is a 15-foot-tall, scary, creepy clown. The kind of float that makes adults cringe. Imagine that you are afraid of clowns. This clown makes you feel like crying and screaming, not smiling and laughing. You think, “Who approved this float to be in a parade?” People around you are getting a little freaked out. Parents are holding their children’s hands. Even though you are bothered by this clown, you can’t stop staring. The float drifts by. Everyone else begins to relax a little as they catch a glimpse of the next float. It is a basket of playful kittens and puppies. But you won’t have anything to do with the fun and cuteness of that float – even though you love animals. You leave your spot in the crowd and follow the creepy clown all along the rest of the parade route. In fact, you stand with it after the parade. You watch it until people take it apart and pack it up for next year.
Does that seem like a weird thing to do if you are scared of this clown?
That is the way it is with our negative and ungodly thoughts. We can get fixated on them and they take us away from the good things in life and away from the goodness of God. We need to learn to let those negative and ungodly thoughts drift by us, like a float in a parade.