RX for NTS (Negative Thought Syndrome)
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, if there is anything of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. Phil. 4:8
Welcome to Wednesday’s Word @ Coffeehour with ChicklitPower! Grab your favorite beverage, your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots in our faith!
I heard the alarm go off. It had been one of those restless nights of waking up several times, looking at the clock wondering if it was time to get up yet. I couldn’t afford to oversleep. I desperately needed my quiet time with Abba before even attempting to make it thru this full day, which included a train ride to L.A to drop off a 300 page transcript and then to one of my favorite law firms for an all-day video deposition. My husband nudged me, gentle at first, and then not so gentle as I took my time to wake up.
As I placed my feet on the floor, I made a conscious choice to bite back the thought screaming in my head: “I don’t want to get up.” I succeeded and picked up speed as I whispered good morning to my Abba and headed straight for the coffee pot and quiet time!
Lately, I’ve had a propensity toward anxiety, sadness and a constant sense of being overwhelmed, which translates to focusing on my broken relationships and other problems, thus making my problems bigger than my God. Oh, how easy it is to go off on a detour toward NTS. Why do you think that is? I actually found that answer in a devotional from Bible.com that one of my close friends sent me. It was on the subject of emotions, and guarding our heart.
Did you know that our emotions travel 80,000 times faster than our thoughts? Oh, Mylanta, no wonder we feel so much pain when painful things happen, or when people we love hurt us! This also explains why so many of us, “Christians” included, operate out of feelings, allowing them to drive our emotional cars and cause emotional wrecks. Is it any wonder that hurt people hurt people?
So again, the question still remains: How do I flee from NTS? Well, as I was driving to the train station, I picked up my pink scripture cards and began going through them, trying to commit them to memory. I picked up the third one, and it began convicting me in a different way from when I had originally written it on the card. Scripture tends to do that, friend, come alive in you each and every time, but in a new and life-changing way.
As I kept reciting Phil. 4:8 while driving down the freeway, I realized that the things I’ve been meditating on lately haven’t been necessarily true, noble, just, let alone pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy! So as I recited each part of the verse, it began to come alive. Let me share how:
Whatever is true—I know He loves me; that’s a truth I can take to the bank. I must focus on His truths, not what others think of me! (Isn’t that so hard at times?)
Whatever is noble—Striving for an attitude of gratitude while in the midst of a painful circumstance is noble (admirable) not repaying evil for evil.
Whatever is just—His discipline for me is just; His hand in my life is always just, not always comfortable but righteous and just. He uses all things to refine me and mold me more into His image.
Whatever is pure-His love is the purest thing I know and it’s mine!
Whatever is lovely-I need to take a look around at His artwork for when I do that, I am never, ever disappointed.
Whatever things are of good report-We are inundated with negative messaging; oh, how crucial it is to learn to recognize His hand in the little things and the big things and when I am focused on what He has done, not what I want Him to do, I am in a better place emotionally, spiritually and thus physically.
If there is any virtue…hmmm, I got stuck on this one for a minute and had to really thing J Virtue = a behavior that exhibits high moral standards..so the verb form of faith (faith-ing) would be something to meditate on as our thoughts produce actions, positive or negative, but if we feed our faith and not our fears, the actions that follow will be worthy of praise!
It’s your turn…take each one of these things that our Father tells us to think about and fill in what you believe to be true, noble, just, pure, lovely, things of good report – there is much to praise Him for – something you know He has worked in you, all of which equates to praiseworthy thoughts and gets you away from NTS!