Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Have you found yourself lately on trails of negative thought? The topic of COVID 19 seems to wiggle into most conversations these days and it can leave us feeling anxious, confused, and downbeat as a result.  News reports and statistics rarely highlight optimism, and even spending time with friends and family can breed cynical and gloomy attitudes.  Negativity lingers long after the conversation is over and has an interesting way of attacking our thought life.  

Downbeat attitudes breed hopelessness, cloud reality, and block our view of God.  Now more than ever we need full sight of God’s promises!  What fills our mind filters out into our attitudes and actions so it is crucial to focus on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. What a powerful filter God’s Word becomes as we take in the circumstances and voices in our world today! 

Perhaps like me, you’ve smelled pessimism and cynicism in your thought life lately, and it stinks! Or even worse, we are growing nose blind to its pride, indifference, and indignation!  This odor is not only offensive to our self and others, but also to God.  Perhaps we need to ask the Lord to refresh the odor of our spirit—I don’t want to leave a stinky attitude that lingers in my home and community!

It is humbling whenever our seemingly justified thoughts point to our sinful nature, isn’t it? So, what do we do when our thoughts stink? The Bible teaches us that we can ask God to search our heart, reveal the areas that reek, and teach us His way instead (Psalm 139:23).  Philippians 4:9 reminds us that we just need to put into practice what we have learned and received and seen Jesus teach us in His Word.  Don’t settle for the world’s “stink think” because the most amazing thing happens we repent of our negative attitudes and fill our mind with God’s truth instead—we get to experience God’s peace! 

Thoughts of our nation’s health, economy, and businesses are very real today—but so is our God! Ignoring issues or numbing our mind from reality is not our answer.  We need a place for restless thoughts to go.  However, we don’t have to let anxiety sit and rot in our mind—it will soon begin to stink. Instead, bring your worries to Jesus because he cares for you (Matthew 6:34).  Enjoy God’s peace as you pray and meditate on God’s Word.  Ask God to do a work in your heart today revealing any attitudes that stink. Our world is starved for hope today.  May the sweet smelling fragrance of Jesus be our scent that lingers.  

Father God, refresh the odor of my spirit today.  Forgive my pessimism and downbeat attitude in the midst of this pandemic.  Teach me to be a positive voice in all of this, because some days I really struggle! My heart hurts for others and I just want it to all go away! Remind me to bring my worries to you instead of letting them rot into “stink think.” Refresh my heart with Your Truth so that my words and actions speak of You instead of negativity. In Jesus Name, Amen.  

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.