I look back on my life and see moments that impacted my way of thinking . This is one of them.
1968 in Brazil
A friend of many years had turned against my husband. Not only that, he was trying to turn others against him.
I was furious at the betrayal of this man!
From the time I awakened until night when I fell into bed, my hands were busy caring for my children and home, but my mind was busy thinking of scenes that had happened on this road, seeing them from a different perspective than I’d had previously, becoming angrier each day.
The anger was beginninguur to consume me.
I began to be aware of what was happening. I didn’t like it, but I I had no clue as to how to change my thought patterns. The more I attempted to not think about the betrayal, the more my mind dwelt on it.
One day as I was reading my Bible, a verse I’d skimmed over many times in the past caused my mind to screech to a halt. It stood out like a sign on a billboard with blinking lights. I couldn’t miss it this time.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about thingos that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil 4:8
This idea caught me!
“I wonder if this will work? Since Paul wrote it, it’s worth a try! “
That first day, was tough!
Some thought (and I had many) would come to mind in reference to THE BETRAYAL (this is the emphasis my mind was giving to the situation.)
I ‘d start mulling it over, then catch myself , “Oh oh! I have to turn my mind to something true, or honorable, or right, and pure, or lovely and admirable.”
I started searching for some thought to fit one of those categories and consciously turned to that list, found something, thought about it – and felt good for a few minutes. Then another thought of the betrayal came galloping in, overtaking, and filling my mind with anger.
All day it was war: between anger roaring in and me deliberately turning my focus to the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely or admirable. However, I had enough victories to continue the next day – and the next . . .and on.
It was a week or ten days later when a thought of “that man” entered my brain and astonished me. I wasn’t angry. In fact, my emotions were of were of sorrow for him, and I was able to begin praying for him.
Paul knew well what he was writing; that it could change our lives. When we get rid of the mind focus on what is wrong, and turn our minds to the list above, it is absolutely amazing how much more clearly, we think and see, and even know how to act into the situation.
Have you gone through something that has caused your mind to be totally occupied with anger? It isn’t pleasant, is it?
Just remember, this is a tool God gave to us to use . This is not living in denial of reality: rather, it is a way for us to overcome our emotions so we are free to pray and do spiritual battle against evil.
Tell me when you try it and if it helps. Ok?