We humans tend to focus on negativity. There is a strange sort of relationship between the human psyche and trouble. Everyone stops to crane their necks at a car wreck. Newspaper headlines overwhelmingly highlight difficulty and disaster.
Which is why it makes sense that the Bible instructs us to do the opposite. Because gratitude and positivity is not always natural. Focusing on the positive requires action. It takes making a choice.
We cannot control circumstances. But we get to control what we dwell upon. The passage above encourages us to dwell on things that are positive. Things that are true and good.
Satan is real and to be resisted. But it is not effective to resist him by focusing on him. It is to focus on what he hates. And he hates what is good. What is excellent. What is right.
By pondering what is true, we can see the bigger picture. When we see all the great things around us, it seeds gratefulness. And there are few things more powerful than gratitude.
By dwelling on the things of God, our perspective can mold into what is right and true. Focusing on what is true, right and pure allows us to see life’s experiences as an opportunity rather than an enemy. This invites us into the perspective of God. It allows us to see and embrace life for all it is worth.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8