Media of all sorts provide us with many entertainment and information options, and we are left with choices. If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t always choose wisely, do we? Even if what we pick seems benign in its morality or its message, it’s easy to fill our minds with cognitive junk food. Even non-violent video games, some of which aid our hand-eye coordination, so well exercise one part of our brains that the other part feels edged out.
Much of what passes for news is not very encouraging, and even some bits that are intended to take our minds off the discouraging news are not altogether edifying. (I mean, really, who cares that Kanye West is inviting royalty to witness his marriage to Kim Kardashian? Really?) All this, coupled with what feels like a much-delayed onset of spring, can leave the mind feeling pretty flabby.
The apostle Paul, writing to the church at Philippi from prison, encouraged the believers in this way: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4.8, NLT). In a sense, what Paul wrote was not just good advice, but a helpful spiritual discipline. When we are tempted to think or speak or act negatively, we can fix our thoughts on what is true, honourable, right, pure, lovely, admirable. We can choose to see the glass half-full.
It doesn’t have to turn us into religious pollyannas; we can still be realistic. But amid our realism, it is good for us to think positively, to attempt to see others as God sees them, and to live in such a manner that others see Jesus Christ living in us. May people see us, and long to follow Jesus!