Words come to us, and if we're not careful, we'll believe and entertain them effortlessly, but why? What prevents us from thinking positively all the time? Why do negative thoughts always seem to attract and hold our attention?

We have to get a firm grip on securing the gateways of our minds against the attacks that we allow, welcome and entertain. Sure, thoughts do come and go, but we have to interview thoughts before we hire them as workers in our minds. How can thoughts be interviewed? From which criteria should the inquiry process originate?

The following scripture, Philippians 4:8, provides eight high-ranking criteria that should be required for each thought to possess before we hire the thought to enter and process in our minds.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

If a thought is both true and honest but lacks purity, we must reject it immediately. We should take the same adverse action if a presented thought is just and of good report, but is not lovely. If any single thought fails to meet the requirement of all eight qualities that can bring nourishment to our minds, we should avoid them at all costs.

Peace isn't cheap. It costs us time, money, friends, and often, family members. Gaining peace of mind could mean losing the object that disturbs the peace we have or had. Sometimes, that object is a person, place or thing that we cherish deeply. How deeply we hide someone in our hearts determines how deeply they can affect our lives, negatively or positively.

Have you ever experienced an awful situation that bothered you so much that it took days or even weeks to shake your mind free of the memory? We need to be careful of the movies we watch, the music we listen to and even the conversations with which we involve ourselves. Protecting our minds needs to be a priority in this world, and those who'll try to corrupt our peace should be corrected, and if they're receptive to our efforts, we've gained peace. If they refuse our correction, they should be avoided, at least for that moment.

The Scripture is clear in Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

I encourage you, and myself, that we need to keep our minds fixed on the Lord. He is the only One Who'll never leave, utterly forsake or hurt us in any way, but we have to trust Him so we can receive the sweet reward of peace.

Dr. Shane Wall is the senior pastor and founder of The Feast of the Lord in Orangeburg.

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