Change Your Thinking to Reduce Stress
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
You can’t reduce stress in your life unless you change how you think. Our stress doesn’t come from the outside but from the inside.
Your mind is a special gift from God. It’s capable of storing more than 100 trillion thoughts. It can handle enormous amounts of information. God has given you the freedom to choose what you think about, from among all of that information.
The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
Paul reminds us that we can choose what we think about, and he encourages us to think about the right things. What we put into our minds impacts how we live.
It’s really no wonder we’re stressed when we consider what most of us think about on a regular basis. Many people, even Christians, allow anything and everything into their minds. Reading depressing books and watching depressing movies will lead to only one outcome.
What you think affects the way you feel; the way you feel affects the way you act. Guard your mind. Keep your mind on the right things.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to fix our minds on these good things. Paul means that we need to make a deliberate choice. Change the channel on our minds. Only allow in things that fit into the characteristics described in that verse.
What happens when you do that?
You get what God promises in the prior verse: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).
Doesn’t that sound like it’s worth it?
Talk It Over
What kinds of unhealthy concepts do you tend to absorb from what you read and what you watch?
How does the media you consume impact your stress level and your mood?
What are some verses from God’s Word you can meditate on to replace the time you spend consuming unhelpful or inappropriate content?
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.